Architecture – Located in the Opportunity District, at the heart of Expo 2020 Dubai, the United Arab Emirates Pavilion highlights the host country’s pioneering spirit with Santiago Calatrava’s signature pure white architecture.
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“We took inspiration by the grace and force of the falcon, the country’s national bird. The pavilion highlights the UAE’s bold and daring spirit, reflected in what is poised to be the most inclusive and global Expo in history.” Explain at Santiago Calatrava’s office. “The UAE Pavilion offers visitors an opportunity to explore the history and future of the United Arab Emirates – from its origins to its thriving present and its visionary future.”
The four-storey, 27.8-meter-tall building is topped by a movable roof composed of 28 locally produced carbon fiber’ wings,’ which can fully open within three minutes, positioning themselves anywhere between 110 and 125 degrees.
As they walk in, 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.
Designed to meet LEED Platinum sustainable building standards, the 15,000 square meters building numerous exhibition areas, an auditorium and VIP lounges. The UAE Pavilion is surrounded by landscaping containing 80 trees and over 5,600 plants, of which 2,350 are considered to be of cultural importance to the UAE.
“Our late founding father, His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, used falconry expeditions to forge connections between tribes and to create a distinct national identity which ultimately led to the founding of the United Arab Emirates.” Said UAE Minister of State and National Media Council Chairman H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber. “Now, the falcon design will symbolize how we are connecting the UAE to the minds of the world and how as a global community, we can soar to new heights through partnership and cooperation.”
Photography is by Palladium Photodesign / Oliver Schuh + Barbara Burg, courtesy of Santiago Calatrava.