Looks like Santiago Calatrava will make another mark in Dubai. Not long after winning the Dubai Creek Harbor tower, Calatrava scored the commission to design the UAE Pavilion for the 2020 World Expo in Dubai. With 25 million visitors expected to attend the Expo, finding the right pavilion design to visually represent the host-country is evidently a big deal. This past March, Foster + Partners, Grimshaw, and BIG were each commissioned to design the World Expo 2020 theme pavilions.
2020 Expo project manager Masdar oversaw the seven-month international competition, which reeled in 11 submissions from nine top-notch architecture firms. Each proposal was rigorously judged on how it portrayed the Expo 2020 theme “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” and if it had a distinct feel that represents the UAE. Designs also had to present an appropriate balance between the country's past and future.
Inspired by a falcon in flight, the UAE Pavilion will be built at the heart of the nearly 500-acre Expo area. If all goes smoothly in construction, the approximately 15,000 square-meter structure will include numerous exhibition areas, an auditorium, food and beverage outlets, and VIP lounges.
“The proposed design of the UAE Pavilion captures the story we want to tell the world about our nation,” stated UAE Minister of State and National Media Council Chairman H.E. Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber. “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.”
“The final design will be a symbol of the UAE’s bold and daring spirit, reflected in what is poised to be the most inclusive and global Expo in history,” Santiago Calatrava said in a statement.
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