Following a seven month design competition with submissions from the world’s leading architecture firms, the National Media Council of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) selected Santiago Calatrava’s proposal for the UAE Pavilion at the Dubai World Expo 2020. The structure, which will sit at the heart of the nearly 500-acre exhibition area and whose design is inspired by a falcon in flight, will be seen by the roughly 25 million visitors and participants who are expected to visit the Expo from October 2020 to April 2021.
The announcement was made after an intense design competition overseen by Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, in its capacity as the Expo’s program manager. Nine of the world’s most celebrated architectural firms submitted 11 concepts; each design was evaluated on how it expressed the main theme of Expo 2020, “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future,” whether it had a distinct UAE feel and if it struck an appropriate balance between the country’s past and future.
When completed, the Calatrava-designed UAE Pavilion will be approximately 15,000 square meters (over 161,000 square feet) and will include numerous exhibition areas, an auditorium, food and beverage outlets and VIP lounges. It will be designed to meet LEED Platinum sustainable building standards.
The Dubai World Expo 2020 is a six-month event showcasing architecture, global culture and innovation that will bring together participants from 180 countries and six continents. It will include over 200 participants, including nations, multilateral organizations, corporations and educational institutions. The theme of this year’s Expo, “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future,” underscores how the modern world is interconnected and the need to generate sustainable solutions to global problems.