Expo 2017 Astana: technology for a sustainable future

September 11, 2018 | Events, Exhibitions, Expo pavilions

ACCIONA Producciones y Diseño integrated the most innovative museographic implementation technologies in the national pavilions of Spain, the United Arab Emirates and Kazakhstan.

The Kazakh capital of Astana will never forget the summer of 2017. For the first time in its history, the country hosted the World Expo, one of the most important international events and, for many, the true Olympic Games of technology and culture.

Over 100 countries, including Spain, took part in this expo, with “Future Energy” as its main theme, covering one of the greatest challenges of the century: sustainable energy production and use.

ACCIONA Producciones y Diseño (APD) was chosen for the design, production and technical maintenance of the pavilion representing Spain in Astana, which presented the history of the use of natural resources in Spain, as well as the need to use innovation to treat the planet and its energy sources responsibly and sustainably.

The company also participated in the production and technical maintenance of the national pavilion of the United Arab Emirates and the national pavilion of Kazakhstan, the Expo’s main building. These three jobs posed a great scientific and technological challenge for APD and have introduced the Company into a new market.

ACCIONA Producciones y Diseño (APD) always strives to integrate new technologies to create memorable visitor experiences.

From the very beginning, EXPO 2017 Astana was a real challenge for the company, because of the size and difficulty of setting up three pavilions in a country where it had no presence. To ensure maximum efficiency, APD opened an office in Astana, where professionals worked for nearly a year, from November 2016 to October 2017.

National Pavilion of Kazakhstan: Immersive projections

ACCIONA Producciones y Diseño was responsible for the two-level exposition area in the National Pavilion of Kazakhstan, a giant eight-storey sphere that served as the heart of the Expo.

The first level, covering 2,400 m2, was dedicated to the host country, while the second level, covering 800 m2, was dedicated to hydroelectric power. Both of them included several full immersion digital multi-projection systems.

One of APD’s most outstanding creations was the Canopy, a large, irregular dome used for two of the most unique display elements: the Hospitality Interactive Wall, an interactive wall made of wood and felt that combined the highest tech, such as video-mapping; and the Canopy Projection, a projection surface over a curved canopy, synchronised with a landscape display that changed with the seasons.

02_Estructura Canopy

The Hospitality Interactive Wall welcomed visitors with an interactive narration that integrated graphics mapped on the surface, which came alive when touched, triggering a series of entertaining digital animations with informative and charming content about Kazakh hospitality.

04_Hospitality Interactive Wall

Meanwhile, the Canopy offered visitors a surprising show in an immersive environment, showing the transformation of a snow-covered winter landscape to springtime and on to summer with pastures. This space also included a scent emitter synchronised with the projections.

06_Canopy Projection

These developments, which presented significant scientific and technological challenges for APD, led to unprecedented technological solutions for the company.

These actions are part of the Company’s commitment to undertake projects that showcase cultural heritage through technological innovation, social innovation and sustainable development, under the concept of cultural engineering.

At the Astana EXPO, APD proved to be a pioneering company in the development of actions that brought culture closer to a large number of people through technology and sustainable development.

Behind the scenes

It is unlikely that any of the over three million visitors to Expo 2017 Astana gave even a thought to the magnitude of the human team required on a project of that size.

Architects, engineers, designers, art historians, translators, producers, lighting, projection and sound technicians, etc. worked non-stop for a year to achieve a result that needed to be perfect.

01_Estructura Canopy

03_Hospitality_staff

ACCIONA Producciones y Diseño employed over 400 people for the work on the three pavilions at Expo 2017 Astana

Many of these workers had to relocate from Spain to Kazakhstan, although APD also created local employment through contracts with companies specialising in audio-visual hardware and software installation, electricity, plumbing, fire-fighting and safety, furnishings, logistics services, cleaning, translation, works personnel, etc.

05_Canopy Projection

07_equipo humano EXPO Astana

Among the social benefits generated by the company’s actions was the donation of office furniture and appliances to one of the country’s correctional facilities. In the area of education, ACCIONA Producciones y Diseño was responsible for conducting training on waste management and health and safety for pavilion workers.

APD has taken part in all World Expos held to date, since the Seville Expo, in 1992.

EXPO 2017 Astana is now part of the group’s extensive experience in developing pavilions for World Expos, always at the cutting edge of technology and guaranteeing sustainable development in each of its projects.