Sphere “Nur Arlem”, Astana

The Largest Spherical Building in the World

2017 marked the first time that the World’s Fair was held in Central Asia. Astana, Kazakhstan played host to the EXPO 2017, with the motto “Future Energy: Measures for Global Sustainability.” The biggest visitor magnet proved to be the “Nur Arlem” pavilion. This central architectonic element of the trade fair grounds was based on designs by the architectural team of Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill and called for construction of the largest spherical building in the world. The glass sphere stands 100m tall and 80m in diameter, not counting its pedestal.

Over 26,000 square meters of total exhibition space fit inside its walls. The 8 different stories of the exhibition primarily feature items related to renewable energy. A portion of the first floor was also re-served for the history of Kazakhstan and the culture and traditions of the Kazakh people.
Sunglass Industry delivered 4,600 curved panes with three layers of silver coating, two-color screen printing and various inserts. The panes feature a unique vaulting shape that curves in both directions, helping avoid angles and light refraction. Each of the dual-laminated insulated panes was produced for its specific installation location. In all, the sphere is produced from 35,000 square meters of curved glass.

Since the exhibition, “Nur Arlem” has continued to be used as a museum of the future presenting vari-ous energy sources.