DUBAI’S LONG-AWAITED EXPO GETS UNDERWAY
Santiago Calatrava announces the completion of the UAE and Qatar pavilions at Expo 2020 Dubai. Originally scheduled for 2020, the international event was postponed for one year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The highly anticipated world expo finally opens today, October 1st, and will run for six months until the end of March 2022.
‘We are honored to unveil both the UAE pavilion and Qatar pavilion at Dubai expo 2020,’ said Santiago Calatrava. ‘Distinct in design and experience, the UAE pavilion emulates a falcon in flight, while the Qatar pavilion pays tribute to the coat of arms of Qatar – both rooted in their rich histories and cultural heritage.’
THE UAE PAVILION
The Calatrava-designed UAE pavilion takes center stage at the heart of Dubai’s expo site with a design described as ‘a symbolic interpretation of the flow of movement’. The 27.8-meter-tall building is topped with a massive movable roof composed of 28 ‘wings’, which can fully open within three minutes, positioning themselves anywhere between 110 and 125 degrees.
Inside, visitors are immersed in clean, futuristic, yet organic-shaped spatial atmospheres. The main space is crowned with an oculus skylight that mirrors the form of the expo 2020 logo while a sphere-shaped, multi-faceted auditorium in the center serves as both a visual centerpiece and functional space with a capacity of 200 people.
As well as crafting dynamic spaces, Calatrava also prioritized sustainability by incorporating elements that are energy efficient, reduce water consumption, and optimize indoor air quality. The final UAE pavilion is certified leed platinum and is compliant with the Dubai green building regulations and specifications (DGBR).
In materiality, the design team sought to integrate regional materials as well as native plant species. The building is surrounded by landscaped areas with over 5,600 plants from 12 different species, of which 2,350 are considered to be of cultural importance to the UAE, as well as over 80 trees, with approximately 45 of the trees holding cultural importance for the UAE.
‘We are thrilled to unveil the UAE pavilion and Qatar pavilion to the public. The vision behind both structures took on many forms and challenged us to ensure that the end result of both designs represented UAE and Qatar. Each project draws inspiration from the urban fabric from which it rises, to serve as an extension of the respective country,’ said Micael Calatrava, CEO of Calatrava International.
THE QATAR PAVILION
Calatrava also reveals the final Qatar pavilion at expo 2020 Dubai, which was designed and built on an expedited timeline of just five months. The pavilion’s sharp, sweeping form makes reference to the coat of arms of Qatar, which features two crossed, curved swords, encompassing a dhow and an island with palm trees. The design combines and translates these cultural elements to capture movement, mobility, strength, and tradition.
The Qatar pavilion occupies a site of around 960 sqm and accommodates a total built area of approximately 620 sqm. The intersecting structure of the main building ascends to nearly 15 meters in height, with an adjacent sculptural monument rising 20 meters tall.
The interior comprises two main galleries and exhibition spaces that guide visitors through an immersive experience about the past, present and future of Qatar.
The pavilion was realized in just five months thanks to a non-linear, non-traditional design methodology and an integrated design and accelerated construction strategy adopted by the Santiago Calatrava project team in collaboration with main contractor, Alec Fitout, the project’s engineer of record, Aurecon, and Omnium, the project’s contract managers.
Name: UAE pavilion, Qatar pavilion
Architecture: Santiago Calatrava
Event: expo 2020 Dubai
Event dates: october 1, 2021 – march 31, 2022