Spanish architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava has unveiled the design of the UAE Pavilion at Expo 2020 in Dubai, UAE. The 15,000 square meters pavilion stands as a "symbolic interpretation of the flow of movement", designed with carefully curated lines and spaces that blend with its surroundings of greenery, shaded arcades, and cantilevered wings. The national monument is set to create an immersive, multisensory experience for visitors from both an architectural standpoint, as well as integrated cinematic features, introducing them to the history, culture, and futuristic innovations of the UAE.
To translate the pavilion's central theme of "wings that depict the flow of movement", the roof structure consists of a hybrid system between a shell and a portal frame, composed of 28 wings. The wings can be opened within 3 minutes, covering a range of 110 and 125 degrees. In terms of mechanism, 46 hydraulic actuators activate the rotation of the wings, functioning as pistons. Once activated, hydraulic oil is pushed through these actuators, extending the pistons to open the wings to their full capacity.
Calatrava’s commitment to sustainable design is highlighted with photovoltaic panels that have been produced in the UAE, and integrated into the roof's structure. In addition to being aesthetically appealing once integrated with the opened wings, the latter also serve as protection from rain and sandstorms when they are closed, and absorb sunlight to harvest energy once opened.
We are committed to ensure that the leading practices of environmental sustainability are embedded at the heart of the design process. Accordingly, the UAE Pavilion is energy-conscious and integrates a range of elements and qualities of sustainable design, ensuring the longevity of the structure, to withstand the test of time. -- Santiago Calatrava
Another architectural feature in the structure is the Oculus skylight, integrated within the roof of the UAE Pavilion. The element is placed at a height of 27.8 meters, and mirrors the form of the Expo 2020 logo. In addition to providing natural daylight into the space, the Oculus is also surrounded with grilles that open on case of accidental fires. At the heart of the pavilion is a faceted sphere-like space that houses an auditorium with a lifting platform. The platform supports the interior seating and transports the audience from one floor to another during their audio-visual experience.
The Spanish architect and engineer has also unveiled the design of the Qatar Pavilion at Expo 2020 in Dubai, UAE. The design is inspired by the four elements represented on the Coat of Arms of Qatar and will include two main galleries and exhibition spaces, providing visitors with engaging, inclusive, and interactive environments.