UAE Focus

The Turkmenistan Pavilion at Expo 2020 ... depicting the nation’s natural and historical attractions.

The Turkmenistan Pavilion at Expo 2020 ... depicting the nation’s natural and historical attractions.

Key countries move ahead with pavilions

July 2019

Two further countries – Philippines and Central Asian country of Turkmenistan – unveiled designs for their innovative pavilions at the upcoming Expo 2020 Dubai event, while three European countries – Switzerland, the UK and the Netherlands – launched construction work on their pavilions.

The unveiling of the Filipino pavilion design, which showcases its natural beauty within a coral reef-themed facility, was timed to mark the country’s Independence Day on June 12.

According to senior government officials linked to the project, the 3,000-sq-m Philippine pavilion will reinterpret the country’s history, going beyond the period of colonisation and showcasing its natural beauty and people.

UK Pavilion ... ground broken.

UK Pavilion ... ground broken.

The overall artistic direction and theme development for the project is the responsibility of Budji+Royal Architecture+Design, while the original content is by Marian Roces & Digital Content Creators with a focus on film and exhibit installations, literature, history, and music. The gastronomy section will be handled by Artisanal Café and the crafts by Go Lokal.

“The pavilion’s undulating walls recall the shape of bangkóta or coral reefs. They are permeable, made of netting, to represent the idea of connectivity,” stated Royal Pineda, the principal architect and CEO of Budji +Royal Architecture Design.

Meanwhile, a fountain sculpture featuring majestic Akhal-Teke horses will greet visitors to the Turkmenistan Pavilion, as will a 50-m LED façade depicting the nation’s natural and historical attractions.

Native to Turkmenistan and symbolising national pride, the horses will play a prominent role in a pavilion experience that promises to immerse the five senses, said senior Turkmenistan officials.

Images of five white horses will be projected onto the walls, reflecting the movement of people within the pavilion and accompanying visitors through an interactive three-sided hologram.

Yet another participating country, Switzerland broke ground on its country pavilion, ‘Belles Vues’, for the event. The project has been designed by Zurich-based architects OOS in collaboration with Bellprat Partner and Lorenz Eugster.

The ground-breaking ceremony was held in the presence of an official delegation led by Markus Seiler, secretary general of Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

‘Belles Vues’ makes a bold architectural statement from the outside. From the inside too, it offers a one-of-a-kind experience by inviting visitors to go on a hike – a typically Swiss activity: as they pass through the pavilion, they not only experience the beautiful Swiss landscape but learn more about Switzerland as a country proud of its traditions but at the same time highly innovative.

The UK broke ground late last month for its 3,417-sq-m, two-level country pavilion for the Dubai Expo 2020 event, having signed up British construction firm McLaren to build it.

Along with McLaren, Pico, a global leader in total brand activation, has also been named official partner for the project.

The ground breaking ceremony for the ‘artistic, AI (artificial intelligence)-inspired pavilion’ was held in the presence of Secretary of State for International Trade, Dr Liam Fox.

Located in the ‘Opportunity’ district, the UK Pavilion, designed by award-winning British artist Es Devlin OBE, will promote the UK as a world-class destination for trade, investment, education and tourism, and highlight the UK’s expertise in artificial intelligence and the space sector. Britain’s presence will consist of a self-build country pavilion and an accompanying business and cultural events programme.

And the Netherlands kicked off the construction of its Expo 2020 country pavilion with an innovative water harvest. The Dutch pavilion showcases the country’s innovation, inventiveness and openness.

As a symbol of innovation and connection, a Dutch Consul-General and Commissioner-General, Hans Sandeemade a presentation on water harvesting, detailing the Dutch Expo theme ‘Uniting Water Food and Energy’, thus reflecting the country’s knowledge and expertise in the sustainability sector.

 A six-month celebration, the Expo 2020 Dubai will welcome 192 countries and millions of visitors to the UAE starting from October 20 next year to April 10, 2021.  

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