Chile Discards Design by Smiljan Radic, Cecilia Puga and Paul Velasco for its Expo 2020 Dubai Pavilion

Chile Discards Design by Smiljan Radic, Cecilia Puga and Paul Velasco for its Expo 2020 Dubai Pavilion

In 2019, Chile launched an open call for the design of its national pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. Among 24 submissions, the jury chose the proposal presented by Chilean architects Smiljan Radic, Cecilia Puga, and Paula Velasco.

The proposal consisted of traveling a modular oak lamella shed to Dubai, originally built in Chile back in the mid-twentieth century. At the time of its official presentation in 2019, the architects defined the project as "a primitive mark on the ground, as nomadic tribes have done for centuries in this now globalized desert [Dubai]. This physical and cultural dimension is necessary to adapt the pavilion as a friendly and austere space."

Nonetheless, due to the social crisis in Chile in 2019 and the subsequent global pandemic, the local authorities had decided to withdraw from the Expo 2020 Dubai, but the host country offered a shed to allow the participation of the South American country, as reported by Diario Financiero back in June.


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With a total budget of USD 2MM for the 18 weeks of the exhibition —8% of Chile's original investment in the Expo, according to the organizers— the design originally presented by Radic, Puga, and Velasco was discarded and in its replacement, a 600 m2 warehouse resembling an Antarctic base will be the country's presentation at the Expo.

Chile Discards Design by Smiljan Radic, Cecilia Puga and Paul Velasco for its Expo 2020 Dubai Pavilion - Image 2 of 2
Final design of the Chilean pavilion at the Expo 2020 Dubai. Image via Public

"Unfortunately, the pandemic circumstances redirected funds to other priorities and architecture wasn't one of them, leading to an identityless pavilion," wrote Yves Besançon, director of the Chilean pavilion competition in 2019, in a letter published in Diario Financiero.

The Expo 2020 Dubai will run from 1 October 2021 until 31 March 2022, under strict Covid regulations, after a year delay due to the worldwide pandemic.

Via La Tercera.

About this author
Cite: Nicolás Valencia. "Chile Discards Design by Smiljan Radic, Cecilia Puga and Paul Velasco for its Expo 2020 Dubai Pavilion" 24 Sep 2021. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/968992/chile-scraps-smiljan-radic-cecilia-puga-designed-pavilion-for-expo-2020-dubai> ISSN 0719-8884

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