Santiago Calatrava’s two pavillions at Expo 2020 Dubai

Both the UAE and the Qatar pavilions are rooted in the countries’ rich history and cultural heritage, without overlooking sustainability.

The UAE pavilion steals the spotlight at the Dubai Expo site, with a design that represents a symbolic interpretation of a falcon flight. The building is topped with a massive movable roof composed of 28 ‘wings’, which can fully open within three minutes, positioning themselves in different angles. Inside visitors are surrounded by organic yet futuristic shapes, which create a clean space. The design integrates local materials as well as native plant species of cultural interest.

The building is LEED platinum certified and respects the Dubai Green Building regulations and specifications (DGBR). The Qatar pavilion instead, was designed and built in just five months. The building’s shape is a reference to the coat of arms of Qatar, which features two crossed, curved swords, encompassing a dhow – the traditional sailing vessel used in the Red Sea region – and an island with palm trees. The design combines these cultural elements to capture movement, strength, and tradition. Expo 2020 was postponed for one year due to the pandemic. Opened on October 1st, it will run for 6 months until the end of March 2022.

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