Asif khan studio has unveiled images of his first intervention for the public realm of Expo 2020 Dubai. Running from the 20th of October 2020 till the 10th of April 2021, The World Expo will have three majestic Entry Portals to welcome visitors from all over the world.
Under the theme of “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”, Dubai 2020 is a celebration of human achievement, taking place for the first time in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. Asif Khan, the research and development British architecture studio that creates buildings, landscapes, exhibitions, and installations, is the designer behind the Expo 2020 Dubai Entry Portals. Being the first thing visitors of the site will judge, the intervention will actually determine the first impression people will develop of the World Expo. Granting entry starting October 20, the three gateways are the first works to be unveiled from the studio’s design of more than six kilometers of Expo 2020 Public Realm.
The portals will be the first and last encountering moment for all who make the journey to Expo 2020 Dubai, and these capture the very transcendental moment the region is experiencing as it hosts its first World Expo – the celebration not only of UAE’s heritage but also the future. -- Asif Khan
With a concept based on a futuristic exploration of the traditional “mashrabiya" element, a key feature used across the region to control light and airflow, the portals generate a welcoming and easy access. Woven entirely from strands of ultra-lightweight carbon fiber composite, each entrance stands tall and strong at 21 meters high and 30 meters long.
Made only from fine lines of structure, these gateways feature two vast doors, each measuring 21 meters high and 10.5 meters wide, to be opened every morning of the 173 days of Expo 2020 Dubai “in a symbolic act of welcoming the world”. Leading towards the three Expo 2020 districts: Opportunity, Mobility, and Sustainability, the portals direct visitors to courtyards, also designed by Khan.
Designing the Public Realm for Expo 2020 Dubai is a seminal moment for my practice; each aspect of the design invites visitors to immerse themselves in shared Islamic culture, art and language in dialogue with the future spirit of Expo. As visitors explore the many facets of the Public Realm designs, from the Expo Entry Portals to the seating I made with Lara Captan, I hope it leaves them with an unforgettable sense and experience of place. -- Asif Khan
Moreover, the designer’s public realm intervention expands on a six-kilometer linear park with a running track, walking paths of soft and hard materials and places to rest. One of the seating features is designed in collaboration with Lebanese typographer Lara Captan. Inspired by “the lines left on the desert as people journeyed across the landscape, the multitude of lines in the ground follow the concourses”, the project reinterprets UAE’s traditional sadu weaving.
We cannot wait to open our doors to the world on 20 October 2020, and the Expo Entry Portals will provide a wonderful way to welcome millions of people from across the globe, giving a taste of the amazing architecture and groundbreaking innovation they will experience all around the site. -- Ahmed Al Khatib, Chief Development and Delivery Officer, Expo 2020 Dubai
- Client: Expo 2020 Dubai
- Design: Asif Khan
- Structural Engineer: Calin Gologan
- Manufacturer: Ha-Co Carbon GmbH