The weather may be disappointing, the food occasionally average, but when it comes to the World Expo, the UK never does dull. During the 2010 edition of the event, held in Shanghai, Thomas Heatherwick won the gong for best pavilion design with his kooky Seed Cathedral; at Milan in 2015, Wolfgang Buttress again triumphed for the UK with his giant, 40-ton beehive. This year the Expo will be in the Kazakh capital of Astana from 10 June to 10 September, and already the most-hyped pavilion is – you guessed it – made in the UK.
Based on the theme of Future Energy, architect Asif Khan’s huge, electric-blue cylindrical screen shows a 360º simulation of the Dawn of Time.
“I wanted to introduce visitors to the beginnings of energy to shift their perspective about its future,” says Khan, who’s obviously thrilled that revered soundscapist Brian Eno supplied the soundtrack: “Starting from a single note, his piece slowly unfolds like a radiant form of energy that connects the visitor to the physical space – it’s really very beautiful.”