Though best known for its skyscraper design—including the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, and the Kingdom Tower, the world's future tallest building, planned for Saudi Arabia—the Chicago-based firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture didn't propose anything particularly neck-craning for the site of the World Expo 2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan, no siree! In fact, the winning design, chose from an applicant pool of 44, is kept rather close to the ground, with a series of wind- and solar-powered buildings spread over 500 acres and meant to "embody the five pillars of the Third Industrial Revolution"—a reference to Jeremy Riftin's 2011 book The Third Industrial Revolution.
Ideally the complex, consisting of housing, parks, meeting space, exhibition space, and pavilions (named, uh, "World Energy," "Energy for life," "Energy for all," and "My future energy") would be continued to be used after the "future energy"-themed fair packs up and leaves, but, as Gizmodo points out, "it remains to be seen whether EXPO 2017 will serve a purpose once the roughly three million EXPO attendees have gone home." Still, the massive project, scheduled to break ground in the first half of 2014, gives Smith and Gill an opportunity to flex their building-cities-from-nothing muscles, which are actually becoming rather bulked up these days.
· What Does a City of the "Third Industrial Revolution" Look Like? [Gizmodo]
· The winner of the International Architectural Contest for Expo 2017 revealed [Expo 2017]
· All Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture coverage [Curbed National]