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Gateshead architects charm with Cobra in Kazakhstan

A Gateshead architecture practice has made it into the final three of an international competition for its futuristic design of a renewable energy tower known as the ‘E-Cobra.’

Named after its curvature shape, Gradon Architecture’s E-Cobra design has been shortlisted for a competition to create an iconic landmark structure for the International Specialised Exposition (Expo) to be held in Astana, Kazakhstan in 2017.

Standing at a height of 325m, Gradon Architecture’s E-Cobra design reflects the Astana Expo’s theme of ‘Energy of the Future in 2017’.

Featuring a restaurant and viewing platform, the rotating tower harnesses a combination of energy sources.

These include a ground source heat pump, a vertical axis wind turbine, as well as a revolving ‘skin’ of solar panels which function similar to a snake - absorbing heat by day then storing and distributing energy to the exhibition centre as required.

Graham McDarby, design director at Gradon Architecture, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have made it into the final three of this prestigious competition. To have been shortlisted ahead of a number of outstanding architecture practices from all over the world is a fantastic achievement for the team.

“E-Cobra is one of our most ambitious design concepts to date. As a renewable energy tower of the future it has an imaginative quality that is reflected in the way it looks and how it is innovatively engineered built using sustainable resources and A-rated green materials. We’re all really excited by the thought of bringing our initial plans for E-Cobra to life and look forward to finding out if we’ve been successful.”

Based at NE40 Studios, a converted locally listed church in Ryton, Gradon Architecture is growing an international reputation for delivering a range of international design projects in countries such as Australia, China, and Mongolia.

Open to architecture practices from across the world, the winner of the Astana Expo 2017 competition will be named at the end of this summer.

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