The Finnish Pavilion for Expo 2020 Dubai showcases the country's deep connection with nature and sustainability, contributing to its high quality of life. Titled "Snow Cape", the pavilion designed by JKMM Architects subtly evokes Finnish natural settings through materiality and atmosphere while embodying the principles of circular economy championed by the Nordic country. The structure with its tent-like entrance creates a point of commonality, reminding of Finland's nomadic heritage, as well as the Arabic text.
Upon entering the pavilion, the clean, white façade made of tensioned industrial fabric is contrasted by the hard granite floor tiles, which, together with shallow water pools, echo the Finnish landscape, while the interior is stripped down of any unnecessary claddings, minimising the use of materials. The exhibition space features a looping 53-metre long film display illustrating nature and technology interweaving within the day-to-day life in Finland, which rank first in the World Happiness Report for 4 consecutive years.
In designing the pavilion, we sought to bring a fragment of Finnish nature to UAE and Dubai. The pavilion was inspired by the thin white layer of first snow that covers the Finnish landscape at the beginning of winter. In Finnish, it is called 'Lumi', which means snow. The main entrance was inspired by a traditional Arabic tent. Two cultures meet in the architectural concept of the pavilion. Hopefully, this will be the best space in Expo for meeting face-to-face.- Teemu Kurkela, Founder and Creative Partner at JKMM Architects
The circular economy imperatives have informed the construction of the pavilion, for which the majority of the materials were sourced locally, thus reducing the environmental impact of transportation. Moreover, the design took into consideration the structure's life after the Expo, with the project set to remain in place for an additional five years, after which it will be dismantled and its materials recycled or reused.