Dubai won the bid to host the World Expo 2020, being the first Middle Eastern city selected in the Expo's 160-year history. HOK, in partnership with Populous and Arup, led the design team that developed the master plan, themed "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future." Their proposal won against those from Brazil, Russia, and Turkey.
The 1,082-acre (438-hectare) Expo site is equidistant from Abu Dhabi and Dubai, next to the new Al Maktoum International Airport and near the Jebel Ali Port.
Dubai Expo 2020 Master Plan
Here are more details on HOK's design:
"HOK's design features three separate pavilions symbolizing opportunity, sustainability and mobility, with 'innovation pods' and 'best practice areas' in each thematic zone. These three zones emanate from a central plaza named the Al Wasl, the historic Arabic name for Dubai meaning 'the connection.'"
"The team planned the Expo site and infrastructure to create a new sustainable benchmark for events in the Middle East. An iconic photovoltaic fabric structure covers the main walkways, acting as a solar-powered sun shade and combining with photovoltaic panels on building facades to capture enough sunlight to generate at least half of the Expo's energy requirements onsite."
"At night, the fabric will be transformed into an illuminated display of lights and digital projections. The boulevards will be shaded by the iconic photovoltaic fabric structure. The smaller connective streets will be protected from the sun through the use of pavilions and strategic landscaping."
"The transportation plan includes a gondola that links each of the thematic zones and the main entrance while creating an additional viewing experience for visitors. Other sustainable strategies include recycling wastewater, reusing materials and monitoring the carbon footprint."
"Inspired by the layout of a traditional Arabic "souk," or marketplace, the design places larger pavilions to the perimeter while clustering smaller exhibit spaces toward the center of the site. This creates a smooth pedestrian flow while encouraging interaction among visitors."
"After the close of the Expo in 2021, three main pavilions – the Welcome Pavilion, the Innovation Pavilion and the UAE Pavilion – will be combined and transformed into a National Museum to celebrate the achievements of the Expo.
HOK teamed with Populous, which provided venue planning, shade structure and participant design guidelines, and Arup, which provided infrastructure and transportation services, on the master plan."
Images courtesy of HOK
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