Titled "Reflections", the Swiss Pavilion at the 2020 Dubai Expo showcases Switzerland's unique duality of scenic landscapes and technology, as part of the Opportunity district of the expo. Designed by OOS Architekten, along with Bellprat Partner for the scenography, and Lorenz Eugster for the landscape, the creative team behind Reflections created a bold architectural statement with the pavilion's facade and immersed visitors in an exploration of Switzerland's scenic landscapes and state-of-the-art innovations.
The Swiss Pavilion is a monumental cubic structure that combines tradition and innovation. The design is an homage to temporary Bedouin tents that stand on old dried-up rivers in the desert, surrounded by date palm trees that rise up to 9m high. The design of the pavilion highlights the relationships between East and West and creates a unique presence with a reflective funnel-shaped front elevation.
The interior of the pavilion is divided into three dramatic acts that allow visitors to walk through the country's unique features. In the first act, the audience experiences the facet of ‘typically Swiss’ while waiting in line in front of the mirrored facade. The journey continues inside the pavilion for the second act, where visitors are met with the unique panoramas of nature, walking uphill through a real fog towards an unknown destination. Emerging from the fog, visitors observe an artistic interpretation of a mountain panorama, emphasizing the authentic Swiss experience. The third and final act highlights an urban and creative environment, reflecting Switzerland’s position as a world-leading innovative country.
The journey ends with a homogenous experience of traditional Arab seating layout (the Majlis) and Swiss hospitality. The interpretation of the Arabian landscapes in the Wadi, with its alluvial hills and individual vegetation groups, was featured as a coffee shop and rooftop bar that serves Switzerland's notable sweet delicacies. The entire experience of the pavilion communicates Switzerland’s strengths and opportunities in the fields of education, research, innovation, and business, translating the event's theme of "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future".
The EXPO 2020 Dubai is the first event of its kind to take place in the Middle East. 192 countries will be participating in the event, presenting pavilions that revolve around the central theme of "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future". The event is organized around themes 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.