Centred around the theme of connection, Japan's Pavilion for Expo 2020 Dubai unfolds a geometrical 3D lattice inspired by the commonalities of traditional Japanese and Arabic patterns. Designed by Yuko Nagayama and Associates, the project uncovers through different architectural means the cultural similarities between Japan and the Middle East.
The tridimensional façade combines Arabesque and Asanoha patterns while also referencing the traditional Japanese art of Origami. The structure enveloping the pavilion is also a reference to the Japanese art of Origata gift wrapping. As Nagayama describes it: "in terms of the cultural connection, I took my starting point from the similarities we can see between Middle Eastern and Japanese geometrical patterns, and explored this across a facade that is a new kind of geometrical 3D lattice serving as the structure and environmental filter."
In keeping with Expo 2020 Dubai's emphasis on sustainability, the pavilion's cooling system incorporates environmentally-friendly techniques inspired by both cultures' traditions. The thin material of the façade resembling Japanese paper protects the pavilion from direct sunlight, while a shallow pool of water in front of the building will help cool the area. Built within the Opportunity District of the exhibition, the construction of the project is nearing completion. Japan's theme for the pavilion is ‘Join.Sync.Act.’, encouraging visitors to discover the vibrant art, culture and technology of the nation which will be hosting the next Expo in Osaka in 2025.
Continuing the historical tradition of world international exhibitions, the EXPO 2020 Dubai is the first to take place in the Middle East. The event revolves around the theme of "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future", organized around ideas of Sustainability, Mobility and Opportunity. Having been postponed due to the pandemic, the event will take place between 1 October 2021 and 31 March 2022.