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  1. ArchDaily
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  3. Expo 2020 Dubai Pavilions and Architecture

Expo 2020 Dubai Pavilions and Architecture

Expo 2020 Dubai Pavilions and Architecture
Expo 2020 Dubai Pavilions and Architecture, UK Pavilion. Image Courtesy of Es Devlin
UK Pavilion. Image Courtesy of Es Devlin

For the Dubai 2020 Expo, the United Arab Emirates and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, selected the theme Connecting Minds, Creating the Future. Organized around ideas of Sustainability, Mobility and Opportunity, the next world Expo will be the first to be held in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia region. Organised every five years, the world expo lasts six months and is created as a global destination for millions of people to share ideas, showcase innovation, encourage collaboration and celebrate human ingenuity.

UAE Pavilion. Image Courtesy of Santiago Calatrava Sustainability Pavilion. Image Courtesy of Grimshaw Mobility Pavilion. Image Courtesy of Foster + Partners Austria Pavilion. Image Courtesy of Querkraft + 10

The main site of Dubai Expo 2020 will be a 438-hectare area (1083 acres) located between Dubai and Abu Dhabi cities, near Dubai emirate's western border with Abu Dhabi emirate. The master plan, designed by the American firm HOK, is organized around a central plaza, entitled Al Wasl (meaning "the connection"), enclosed by three large pavilions which will be built by Al-Futtaim Carillion, each one dedicated to a sub-theme. The Dubai Metro Route 2020 will take 46,000 passengers per hour to and from the Expo site in under 16 minutes from Dubai Marina.

Discover ArchDaily's updated list of pavilions and architecture for the Dubai 2020 Expo:

UAE Pavilion by Santiago Calatrava

UAE Pavilion. Image Courtesy of Santiago Calatrava
UAE Pavilion. Image Courtesy of Santiago Calatrava

Calatrava’s design is meant to evoke the wings of a falcon in flight, linking itself to the country’s history of falconry to emphasize the country’s present day goals of global connectedness. The design proposes a 15,000 square meter pavilion with exhibition areas, an auditorium, food and beverage outlets, and VIP lounges. The UAE Pavilion covers four floors, including a 1,717-square-meter top story hospitality lounge. A 588-square-metre mezzanine will house support functions, with the remaining two floors containing 12,000 square meters will of exhibition space showcasing displays that respond to the Expo theme of “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.”

Luxembourg Pavilion by Metaform and The Space Factory

Luxembourg Pavilion. Image Courtesy of Metaform and The Space Factory
Luxembourg Pavilion. Image Courtesy of Metaform and The Space Factory

The theme designated for the Luxembourg’s pavilion at Dubai EXPO2020 is “Opportunity”. It reflects the history of Luxembourg, its present and future. The proposed pavilion is like the country: small and ambitious, intriguing and reassuring, and above all generous and open. The formal proposition is inspired by a Mobius strip, where twisting and folding of a ribbon results in one single surface, with no beginning and no end, symbolizing an infinity, and in the particular context of ‘cradle to cradle’, the circular economy. The pavilion is modeled and organized around this principle, while partial optimization of the width of a ribbon creates a needed shade and protection.

Sustainability Pavilion by Grimshaw

Sustainability Pavilion. Image Courtesy of Grimshaw
Sustainability Pavilion. Image Courtesy of Grimshaw

The pavilion aims to illuminate the ingenuity and possibility of architecture as society looks to intelligent strategies for sustainable future living. The pavilion is one of three at the expo, presenting the opportunity to deliver an aspirational message about the natural world, ecology and technology to a global audience. Drawing inspiration from complex natural processes like photosynthesis, the dynamic form of the pavilion is in service to its function, capturing energy from sunlight and fresh water from humid air. Sited in a prominent location, the pavilion structure works in tandem with the considered landscape of demonstration gardens, winding pathways and shaded enclaves to create an aura of magic punctuated by the sights, smells and tactile opportunities of nature. The gardens surrounding the pavilion design are an integral part of the visitor experience, both experiential and functional, setting the stage for the exhibition contents within and creating gathering areas that will manage and distribute crowds while providing retail, food and beverage opportunities.

Austrian National Pavilion by Querkraft

Austria Pavilion. Image Courtesy of Querkraft
Austria Pavilion. Image Courtesy of Querkraft

The Austrian Pavilion will center on questions of how resources can be used more thoughtfully and respectfully in the future. The Austrian Pavilion is funded by the Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs and the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber. The exhibition area for the Austrian pavilion will be located between Switzerland and China in the Opportunity district: “unlocking the potential within individuals and communities to shape the future”. In a time where huge amounts of information create misleading answers for complex issues, the Austrian Pavilion will focus on a framework of innovations. A grid of truncated cones will unfolds to create patterns of light and shadow. The cone forms will be carefully engineered to invite the visitor to rest and contemplate the surrounding exhibition.

USA Pavilion by Fentress Architects

Dubai 2020 Expo Masterplan. Image Courtesy of HOK
Dubai 2020 Expo Masterplan. Image Courtesy of HOK

While no renderings or visuals have been provided yet, Fentress Architects will design the United States of America’s pavilion at World Expo 2020 in Dubai. The winning design is based on the theme “What Moves You,” and will emphasize, “the power and diversity of culture, technological innovation in mobility, and commercial opportunity throughout the United States,” according to a statement from Pavilion USA 2020. Fentress’s design will play into the “dynamism of American culture,” and national values of “ingenuity, progress, and innovation.”

Mobility Pavilion by Foster + Partners

Mobility Pavilion. Image Courtesy of Foster + Partners
Mobility Pavilion. Image Courtesy of Foster + Partners

Foster + Partners won a competition to design the Mobility Pavilion for Expo 2020 Dubai. Under the Expo’s 2020 theme of Connecting Minds, Creating the Future, the teams were selected from 13 invited practices to design three themed pavilions within the Expo's HOK-designed masterplan: Opportunity, Mobility, and Sustainability. As Foster + Partners has said, "Dubai is emerging as a global hub for the design and construction industry, exemplified by the varied scope and breadth of our projects in the region. We have been heavily involved in a number of projects over the past two decades, from the Index Tower that opened in 2011, to presently working on the Dubai Design District Creative Community and Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI) and the new Mobility Pavilion for the Expo 2020."

United Kingdom Pavilion by Es Devlin

UK Pavilion. Image Courtesy of Es Devlin
UK Pavilion. Image Courtesy of Es Devlin

Award-winning artist and designer Es Devlin OBE is set to design the UK Pavilion for Expo 2020 in Dubai. The scheme, titled “Poem Pavilion” will highlight “leading British expertise in Artificial Intelligence and Space,” and will be produced in collaboration with global brand agency Avantgarde. The Poem Pavilion will feature an illuminated “Message to Space,” with each of the Expo’s projected 25 million visitors invited to contribute. The idea draws directly on one of Stephen Hawking’s final projects, ‘Breakthrough Message’, a global competition that Hawking and his colleagues conceived in 2015 inviting people worldwide to consider what message we would communicate to express ourselves as a planet, should we one day encounter other advanced civilizations in Space. As Devlin asks, "What if the UK Pavilion at Expo 2020 becomes a place where visitors from all over the world take part in a collective global project that showcases British expertise in A.I. technologies and poetry while transcending national identities?"

Spain Pavilion by Selgascano + FRPO

Spain Pavilion. Image Courtesy of Selgascano + FRPO
Spain Pavilion. Image Courtesy of Selgascano + FRPO

Architecture firms Selgascano and FRPO have been selected as finalists to design Spain's National Pavilion for EXPO 2020 in Dubai. The winning proposal includes an inflatable canopy of nine yellow ETFE cylinders set within a steel framework. Reinterpreting the Spanish plaza, the design creates a new take on the public square. The pavilion was made to be ultralight as a more sustainable structure that could be easily removed and transported. Formed as a 'breathing pavilion', the design allows two inflatables to move up and down to respond to views, light and breeze.

New Zealand Pavilion by Jasmax

New Zealand Pavilion. Image Courtesy of Jasmax
New Zealand Pavilion. Image Courtesy of Jasmax

New Zealand’s theme for Expo 2020 is ‘Care for People and Place’. The theme is based on an indigenous Māori idea called kaitiakitanga. The concept relates to the deep connection between humans and the natural world, our responsibility to care for the environment and look after it for future generations. New Zealand’s Pavilion for Expo 2020 is designed by Jasmax. The pavilion will have an exhibition space highlighting New Zealand innovations, a restaurant serving premium New Zealand food and beverage and a curated store featuring the country’s top design objects. The pavilion was inspired by waka taonga, receptacles made by Māori to safeguard important items. Waka taonga were gifted to create partnerships, strengthen relationships and maintain traditions through the generations. The pavilion uses this concept to bring people together, reflecting the theme of Expo 2020 ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’.

About this author
Eric Baldwin
Author
Cite: Eric Baldwin. "Expo 2020 Dubai Pavilions and Architecture" 28 Sep 2018. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/902936/dubai-2020-expo-pavilions-and-architecture/> ISSN 0719-8884

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