Presentation of the Pavilion of France

The International Specialized Exhibition Astana EXPO-2017 will be held on a site located 8 kilometers away from the historical center of Astana with a total surface of 175 hectares.

The main exhibition site covers 25 hectares. National pavilions will be located inside 14 identical U-shaped buildings. These pavilions will offer 47.160 m² of exhibition space on the ground floor and 9.710 m² within covered patios.

The Pavilion of France is located in one of the 14 U-shaped buildings forming almost a circle in the center of the exhibition site each building being organized around one of the interior patios facing towards a circular boulevard.

France benefits from one of the largest surfaces available within national pavilions for participating countries (1083 m²) to bring forward its technological excellence and companies in future energies.

In addition to the exhibition space on the ground floor of the French pavilion, the general Commission of France has 700 m² at its disposition on the first floor. It includes on the one hand, a large multipurpose room (around 100 sits) for technical presentations, working meetings and conferences and on the other hand, general Commission team’s offices.


Visite of the Pavilion

Façade and antechamber

Upon arriving into the Pavilion of France, the visitors are immediately plunged into the festive and energetic atmosphere of French celebrations and gatherings through the projection on a giant screen of a movie by the French « Flair production ».

While waiting in line, they can lift their head and admire a modern and sensual Marianne realized by the street artist Yann Dalon. The Pavilion opens on an antechamber adorned with mirrors that projects and reflects images of French energy to the sound of French music.

The Pavilion is set up in eight different spaces, conceived and created under the supervision of the High Commissariat of France by its eights partners. The spaces are linked by historical corridors in which each partner highlights an important French figure.


The writer and poet Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, author of The Little Prince, is the first major French figure to guide the visitors inside the Pavilion. This French hero, who was also a pioneering aviator, was chosen by Total to introduce its space. In the center of the room, a huge terrestrial globe projects high-resolution pictures of the Earth surface evolving from day to night, subject to storms… Interactive wheels provide information on three types of energies via animations and pictures: future energies, bio-energies and solar energies, topics that are central to the theme of Expo. Around the globe, screens give further information on Total and its objectives. Before leaving the room, the visitors can receive the message of Total in the hollow of their hands, to be reminded of the importance of engagement towards new energies. This message opens the way to all of the other spaces of the Pavilion.


The famous French engineer Louis Vicat, who at the beginning of the 19th century invented artificial cement during the construction of the Souillac bridge (Dordogne river), introduces the visitors to the second space of the Pavilion. Louis Vicat chose to give his discovery to the scientific community by not filing a patent and it was his son, Joseph Vicat, who created in 1853 the French cement group present on this space. The room opens on a Haussmanien apartment that illustrates various creative uses of concrete. The installation “Mini Agua” by the French artist Milène Guermont built in a thin, poly-sensorial concrete produces different sounds when the visitors touch it, depending on their magnetic field. Many “concrete” objects from daily life are also exposed, like an armchair designed by Le Corbusier, cast in concrete by the Vicat Group on the occasion of the Expo. A projection of the city of future as seen by Vicat through its past and future projects is followed by a gallery of innovative technologies exposed vertically, such as a vegetalized wall, a translucent concrete, and solar panels encapsulated in concrete. Crealino, a playful playground creature invented by Vicat, animates the end of the space to entertain our younger visitors.


The visitors directly enter into the space dedicated to Saint-Gobain, French leader in habitat. This firm was founded in 1665 by the Minister of Finance of Louis XIV and contributed to the construction of the Hall of Mirrors of the Palace of Versailles. The Saint-Gobain space invites the visitors to discover the prototype of a comfortable, energetically optimal house according to its « Multicomfort concept » based on thermal, acoustic, visual and air comfort. A first area focuses on thermal comfort thanks to three panels, which illustrate how different isolation materials can lead to differences in comfort and energy optimization. A second corridor looks at acoustic comfort through a sound-absorbing « eco-background » that allows the visitors to realize how different acoustic environments lead to differences in acoustic comfort. An experimentation illustrates the sound absorption by the material of the acoustic corridor through an acoustic shower which can be directed towards a mirror or towards a sample of the « eco-background ».


The Peugeot company, introduced by its visionary member Armand Peugeot, invented in 1995 one of the first electric cars in the world. It is a futurist hybrid electric model, the concept car Peugeot Quartz, that Peugeot presents at the International Exhibition in Astana. This new approach to high-end sports models combines the body of an SUV with the qualities of a sedan, and associates a gasoline motor with two electric ones. The hybrid car exposed in exclusivity at the Pavilion of France also reveals different innovative materials such as woven fabric used as a world premiere and obtained by plastic recycling. The Peugeot space exposes many other sustainable mobility technologies such as an electric motorcycle, bicycle and scooter. Touch screens are displayed around the room in order for the visitors to discover a variety of innovative Peugeot technologies via 21 key dates.


Marie Curie was a pioneer in the research on radioactivity, the first woman to receive a Nobel Prize and the only woman laureate of two Nobel prizes. She introduces the visitors to the space of the Pavilion dedicated to the international organization ITER (« way » in latin). The ITER organization brings together 35 countries, among which the European Union is one of the seven pillar members. The organization works on the feasibility of large-scale fusion as a net source of energy. At the entrance of the ITER space, a photo of the Sun reminds us that fusion reactions are constantly happening in stars including the Sun. Many informative panels elaborate on the complex mechanisms of fusion, as well as the history and goals of ITER. Projections on large screens disclose the progress of the works on the prototype of a fusion reactor, currently under construction in the south of France (St-Paul-les-Durances). This « tokamak » should start its first experimentations in 2025. A huge map of the machine allows the visitor to discover the structure and the collaborative work of the ITER members in the fabrication and assembly of its different pieces. Finally, a pineapple illustrates the size of the fuel, mix of deuterium and tritium, that would be needed to produce 1 Gigawatt of energy in the ITER reactor.


Louis Pasteur, famous French chemist and pioneer physician in microbiology, well-known for his discoveries of pasteurization and the rabbies vaccination, leads the visitors into the space of the company Veolia, a French multinational company specialized in the management of water, waste and energy. The space invites the visitors to discover virtuous energy loops through a visual and tactile journey. A huge interactive wall gives way to the animation of three examples of energetic cycles: the valorization of waste water, the use of water to provide energy to urban heating systems, and the transformation of household waste into energy and heating. Another wall illustrates the diversity of cities where Veolia is present worldwide. At the center of the space, glass installations hold three types of waste: wood, paper and plastic.


Antoine Lavoisier, one of the founders of modern chemistry, introduces the visitors to the space of Syctom. His famous maxim “Nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed” applied to chemistry is also one of the founding principles of the French management of waste and of circular economy. An antechamber of contemporary art opens the space of Syctom, the public agency that treats the waste of Paris and 83 surrounding cities. A triptych video of a waste cascade with sound effects introduces through the senses the visitors to the problematic of waste management. Then, a historic corridor shows that this problematic is not recent through a series of photos from the beginning of the 20th century. These photos display the work of the “chiffoniers” who recycled waste from the waste-container boats in the Parisian region. The next room is round and very bright, almost medical-like. It looks at the different forms of retreatment of waste operated by Syctom such as the production of heat and electricity from waste incineration. Two future projects of Syctom are also presented: the production of bio-plastic using the carbon dioxide contained in incineration smokes, and the production of gas from a methane reaction between mud and biological household waste. This space also presents the recycling chains of different materials, a topic that is developed in the next corridor. This last part of the Syctom space in the Pavilion of France shows videos of the different recycling steps and exposes recycled objects and primary material. The end of the corridor focuses on Syctom’s incineration work and energy production via films and photos of its plants.


The last space of the Pavilion invites you to travel with Jules Vernes, French novelist and inventor of many timeless universes. This last space is devoted to The Agency for the Environment and the Management of Energy (ADEME), currently under the supervision of the Ministry of Ecological and Solidary Transition and the Ministry of High Education, Research and Innovation. Founded in 1991, the mission of the ADEME is to stimulate and to support projects that aim at protecting the environment or deal with the management of energy.  The center of the room displays a huge hot-air balloon, echo to the novel Five Weeks in a Balloon. The journey continues with projections of innovative technologies from six French companies supported by the ADEME: wind turbines (Freyssiwind, Vergnier), submarine turbines (Sabella), flying turbines inspired from wind turbines (Bladetips Energy) and solar panels which orient themselves according to sunlight (Exosun, Cythelia). The ADEME focuses on renewable energies, intelligent electric systems, energy conversion and industrial energetic performances. It thematically presents on the walls of its space 60 small and medium enterprises laureates of its investment program for the future. The Pavilion, which opened up on a globe, ends with a hot-air balloon, a French innovation from the end of the 18th century, to allow the visitors to take off. The ADEME space offers a retrospective on the variety of energetic and environmental sectors in which a multiplicity of actors are working today to create the world of tomorrow.


Upon leaving the Pavilion, the visitors can admire, displayed around the building, large photos by different French artists that illustrate the beauty and diversity of French regions, including its oversea departments. This visual journey brings the visitors back to the central loop of Expo meanwhile allowing them to travel through the landscapes of France.