Notable for its exceptionally fast-tracked delivery, the Qatar Pavilion at the EXPO 2020 Dubai fuses sculpture and structure to create an architectural beacon for Qatar’s pioneering vision of the future while representing the nation’s culture and heritage.
In April 2021, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of the State of Qatar commissioned Santiago Calatrava to design the State’s national pavilion at the EXPO 2020 under the tagline “The future is now”. Commenting on the commission, Mr. Calatrava stated “We are honoured to have been chosen for the design of the Qatar Pavilion at Expo 2020. Our relationship with the State of Qatar and its people lies very close to our heart. The Qatar Pavilion’s design draws inspiration from the Coat of Arms of Qatar and pays tribute to the nation’s past, present and future.”
Inspiration is derived from Qatar’s national emblem; two crossed and curved swords, encompassing a Dhow and Island with palm trees, to truly capture the essence and vision of the nation. The sweeping and ascending geometric forms of the coinciding pair of buildings, which house the entire visitor experience, mirror the shape of the Dhow and its grand sails. The golden sculptural monument at the entrance of the Pavilion and the interior, upward sweeping ceilings represent the abstract fusion of two intertwined palm trees and their foliage, while the reflective pools surrounding the Pavilion represent the Arabian Gulf which encompasses the nation of Qatar.
Located within the Sustainability District of the nearly 500-acre exhibition area, the Qatar Pavilion covers an area of approximately 960 square meters and accommodates a total built up area (BUA) of approximately 620 square meters. Clad in a 100% recyclable solid surface composite material, the white intersecting structures of the main building ascend upwards to nearly 15 meters in height while the adjacent monument rises up to 20 meters in height.
The main structure is comprised of vertical and inclined steel columns utilizing a truss-like column bracing system with an estimated steel tonnage of approximately 100 tons along with an estimated concrete volume in the foundations of approximately 510m³.The sculptural monument, with a diameter of nearly 5.5m, is comprised only of two steel columns supporting an array of lightweight aluminium lamellas.
Reflection pools flanking the pavilion on both sides will guide visitors toward the main entrance portal. The Qatar Pavilion consists of two main galleries of exhibition spaces within which visitors will be submerged in the visionary and pioneering spirit of Qatar. Utilising multiple different technologies, ranging from mirror screens and holographic projections to 3D mapping and transparent LED screens, a deeply symbiotic relationship between the visual arts and the interior architecture engages, inspires and informs visitors through a highly sensorial experience.
Through ardent collaboration, the project team applied an integrated design and accelerated construction strategy for the Qatar Pavilion. The approach followed a non-linear, non-traditional design methodology that ensured an expedited project delivery timeline of just five months and established the project as a benchmark in efficient design and expeditious construction scheduling.
The Dubai World Expo 2020 is a six-month event showcasing architecture, global culture and innovation that will host contributions from 180 countries and six continents. In total, 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. The Expo is set to run from October 2021 to March 2022.
2021 - 2021
Dubai, United Arab Emirates