The UK pavilion recognised at Astana expo 2017 in two top award categories

The UK’s interactive installation at the “Future Energy” Expo 2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan has won a silver exhibition design award from the organising body, The Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), of the energy-themed global event. An international jury composed of nine members visited each pavilion of the 115 countries and 22 international organisations participating. Among ‘Type A’ pavilions (more than 700m2), the UK Pavilion won silver.

The UK Pavilion has also been voted runner up in the Best Pavilion category by Exhibitor. For almost 30 years, Exhibitor has been running the world’s most prestigious exhibit-design competition, honouring the very best of trade show exhibits. It was judged by an international panel of multidisciplinary design, marketing, and communications experts with one judge citing it as “without a doubt the most unique of all the pavilions at Expo 2017”.

The competition entries for both awards included pavilions representing countries from all over the world.

The UK Pavilion was designed by Asif Khan leading a team of British talent that included music legend Brian Eno. It highlighted UK innovations and discoveries that have changed the way we live our lives and connect with others. The UK Pavilion, supported by the Department for International Trade, shows the UK at its creative best and over the last three months has been sharing the UK’s brilliant scientific and engineering expertise across the energy and mining industries with the theme of “We are Energy”, exploring new ways to harness the various sources of energy that surround us and secure a greener future.

The Department for International Trade’s Permanent Secretary Antonia Romeo said:

“These awards for the UK Pavilion at Astana Expo in Kazakhstan are a great achievement and testament once again to the UK’s creative strengths on the world stage.

“It reflects the overwhelming positive response we’ve had from 500,000 visitors to the UK Pavilion, building crucial trade relationships in this fast-growing economy in central Asia.

“It builds on our reputation from the Shanghai and Milan World Expos for design excellence and demonstrates how we continue to surprise and delight, promoting the UK as an outstanding business partner of choice.”

Asif Khan, UK Pavilion Designer, comments:

“Hearing that half a million people visited the UK Pavilion in just three months, and then finding out that we won silver medals in two of the pavilion awards has really touched me.

“The impact of Expo 2017 on Kazakhstan will take years to fully comprehend at the country level, but my feeling is that if we opened up the imagination of even one Kazakh youngster, the aims of our project will be met.

“Closer to home, our success really shows the value of UK government breaking from tradition and trusting new voices in design and architecture. I congratulate and am sincerely grateful to the huge team who enabled our project to become reality”.

This striking centrepiece structure inspired by the architecture of yurts, represents the timeless connection between human civilisation and our environment. Its transparent spokes respond to human touch with illumination, which in turn influences the landscape around it, gently altering its weather in reaction to visitor activity.

One of Exhibitor’s panel commented:

“The United Kingdom’s artistic and interactive interpretation of a yurt was beautiful. The environment that element created was unique and powerful. The structure was like a rare and precious element that compels humans to gravitate toward it and interact with it. Touching the spokes was like playing a giant harp that wraps around you and emits light instead of music”.

The UK’s participation at the three-month long global event ended this week with a spectacular closing ceremony featuring a light and sound show, attended by 18 heads of State and government.