The winners of the architectural competition based on the
project of the theme pavilions for the Dubai Expo 2020 were revealed by Sheikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Expo Higher Committee, in partnership with developer Emaar Properties.
Thirteen global architectural firms had participated in the competition that was launched in July 2015 by Emaar Properties on behalf of Expo 2020. The competition identified the designs for the three theme pavilions of Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability, under the Expo’s theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’.
The three pavilions are going to be centre-pieces that showcase the latest ideas, innovations and developments.
“After careful study and consideration, three designs stood out, amid tough competition, as great future structures that will mark our Expo as exceptional,” Sheikh Ahmad said in a statement.
The winning design for the Opportunity Pavilion was submitted by BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group), a group of architects, designers and builders based in Copenhagen and New York. BIG is currently working on the design of a new headquarters for Google.
London-based Foster + Partners submitted the winning proposal for the Mobility Pavilion. Their design prepared on designs including Dubai’s The Index building, and the master plan for Masdar City.
And the winning design for the Sustainability Pavilion, which will become a long-term ‘cluster’ centre promoting innovative technologies, was submitted by Grimshaw Architects. The firm designed the Eden project in Cornwall, UK.
The three pavilions will form centre-pieces of the two square kilometre Expo site that will be surrounded by the central Al Wasl meeting plaza at Expo 2020.
A major criterion for the competition was ensuring that the designs embodied one of Expo’s core themes and had the flexibility and longevity to live on as landmarks and functional structures after the Expo is complete in 2021.
Mohamed Alabbar and the chairman of the Expo Higher Committee, Dubai Airport
and Emirates airline, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum.
Sheikh Ahmed said that Expo 2020 would be “a festival of human ingenuity”.
“The competition attracted a truly stellar line-up of architectural firms that each put forward designs that impressed all those involved in the selection process,“ he said. “After careful study and consideration, three designs stood out, amid tough competition, as great future structures that will mark our Expo as exceptional.”
Mr Alabbar also mentioned that the winning designs “further build on the UAE and Dubai’s proven record in iconic architectural design, particularly when considering their long-term functionality, sustainability and contribution to Expo 2020’s legacy and Dubai’s long-term development”.
It is estimated that the six-month Expo is going to attract 25 million visitors and will continue to run from October 2020 to April 2021. It will be located in Dubai Trade Centre — Jebel Ali, a 438 hectare site equidistant from the centres of Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Photo courtesy: www.thenational.ae