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5 Things to Know About the Sustainably Designed UAE Pavilion at Expo 2020

Photo: Courtesy of Calatrava

As the host country of the Expo 2020 Dubai, the UAE is aiming to offer a multisensory experience with its national pavilion. “Shaped like a falcon in flight, the pavilion tells the story of the UAE as a global hub, and the vision of its leaders to create a peaceful and progressive society with ambitious plans for the future,” a statement from the event reads.

With less than a month to go for the highly-anticipated event, here are five things you need to know about the UAE Pavilion designed by Spanish architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava.

1. The pavilion’s rooftop features a wing design as well as the Oculus skylight

The pavilion’s central architectural element is the winged structure situated on the roof. It contains 28 wings in a hybrid shell and portal frame. The wings, symbolizing the flow of movement, can move in a multitude of ways, between 110 and 125 degrees, and are powered by 46 specialized and synchronized hydraulic actuators that serve the function of pistons. Another exciting spectacle on the rooftop is the Oculus skylight. Designed to mirror the Expo 2020 logo, it is a fixed insulated glazing unit system that would let in light, while also maintaining cooler temperatures indoors.

Photo: Courtesy of Calatrava

2. Sustainability is at the core of the pavilion’s design

The pavilion was built with sustainability as a central theme of the pavilion’s design and concept. “We are committed to ensuring that the leading practices of environmental sustainability are embedded at the heart of the design process,” Calatrava said in a statement. The pavilion incorporates photovoltaic (PV) panels, which are positioned to allow them to absorb the maximum amount of sunlight to power the pavilion. It has also been designed in accordance with the Dubai Green Building Regulations and Specifications (DGBR).

3. The center of the pavilion contains an auditorium

At the center of the pavilion is an auditorium, located within a faceted spherical structure that is 21m tall and 25m in diameter. The auditorium can hold up to 200 people and serves the dual purpose of both a centerpiece and a functional space.  A specialized lifting platform has been added to transport the audience from floor to floor as they view audio-visual shows.

Photo: Courtesy of Calatrava

4. The landscape features elements of cultural importance to the UAE

The landscaped areas surrounding the pavilion consist of 5,600 plants from 12 different species. Out of those, 2,350 are deemed culturally significant to the nation, alongside 45 trees out of the 80 present. Landscaping is also integrated within the pavilion, in line with the core theme of sustainability.

5. The pavilion promises a multisensory experience

The design was created keeping in mind the unique history and future of the UAE and to retell the story in the form of an immersive experience to visitors. Calatrava aims to evoke a range of emotions from guests as they traverse along with the UAE Pavilion.

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