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Santiago Calatrava unveils design for Qatar Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai

United Arab Emirates Architecture News - Aug 24, 2021 - 15:59   2556 views

Santiago Calatrava unveils design for Qatar Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai

World-renowned Spanish architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava has unveiled design for Qatar Pavilion at the Expo 2020 Dubai which will be held from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Calatrava's design merges sculpture and structure to create an architectural beacon for Qatar’s pioneering vision of the future, while paying tribute to the nation’s rich cultural heritage. 

The acclaimed architect draws inspiration from the four elements represented on the Coat of Arms of Qatar - two crossed and curved swords, encompassing a Dhow and Island with palm trees. 

The design of the pavilion is composed of two main elements that intersect each other, while one of the parts presents a sail-looking appearance, and the other is introducing a sloped volume. There will be an adjacent sculptural monument rising to 20 meters in height, shaped in gold-colored and lattice form.  

These two separate volumes give the expressive character of the pavilion that eloquently combines and translates these cultural elements to capture "movement, mobility, strength, and tradition". 

Calatrava’s design envisages a modern interpretation which symbolizes Qatar’s progressive outlook of the future while remaining true to its culture and heritage. 

Currently under construction within the sustainability district of Expo 2020, in which the construction is being carried out by main contractor ALEC Fitout, the project is already at an advanced stage and is expected to be completed next month. 

Given that the site works began in May 2021, the project represents a benchmark in efficient design and expeditious construction scheduling. 

When visitors enter in, the pavilion will take guests on an immersive experience through Qatar’s rich history and culture. Located within the sustainability district, the building is an architectural symbol, depicting a nation rising and transforming through a harmonious balance of Qatar’s traditional roots and innovative spirit. 

Alongside ALEC Fitout, Calatrava is working with the office Aurecon, the Engineer of Record, on the project. "The close collaboration, flexibility and open communication between all parties has facilitated the rapid design and construction progress which will culminate in an impressive construction period of just 5 months from start to finish," said Calatrava International Architects & Engineers.

Santiago Calatrava unveils design for Qatar Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai

The pavilion will cover an area of approximately 960 square meters, the Qatar Pavilion accommodates a total built up area of approximately 620 square meters. 

The iconic, intersecting structures of the main building will ascend upwards to nearly 15 meters in height, with an adjacent sculptural monument reaching at 20 meters in height. 

Inside the pavilion, there will be two main galleries and exhibition spaces, providing highly engaging, inclusive, and experiential environments for visitors.

Calatrava’s philosophy is grounded in the belief that each innovative design must emanate from its cultural context, conveying traditional sensibility through modern architecture to create truly inspiring structures. 

"Inspiration is derived from Qatar’s national emblem to truly capture the essence and vision of the nation. The architectural gesture and structural form of the Pavilion, which houses the entire visitor experience, mirrors the shape of the Dhow and its grand sails," said Micael Calatrava, CEO of Calatrava.

"The sculptural monument at the entrance of the Pavilion represents an abstract translation and fusion of two intertwined Palm trees, while the reflective pools and integrated water features surrounding the Pavilion, represent the Arabian Gulf which encompasses the nation of Qatar," added Micael Calatrava. 

Santiago Calatrava unveils design for Qatar Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai

View from construction of the Qatar Pavilion. Image courtesy of ALEC Fitout

Once visitors enter the Qatar Pavilion, they will be guided through an immersive experience whereby a deeply symbiotic relationship between the visual arts and the internal spaces engage, inspire and inform them about the past, present and future of Qatar. 

The Qatar Pavilion will be ready for the greatly anticipated opening of the Expo 2020 on October 1st, 2021.

The studio added that "through dedication, hard work and close collaboration, the project team led by Micael Calatrava is able to apply an integrated design and accelerated construction strategy for the Qatar Pavilion at EXPO 2020." 

"The approach follows a non-linear, non-traditional design methodology ensuring project delivery in a very aggressive timeline of 5 months."

"In keeping with the architectural and engineering philosophy of Santiago Calatrava, the Qatar Pavilion is designed as a sustainable and functional structure, utilizing efficient processes which enable procurement and construction to proceed as the design develops." 

"This approach facilitates fast-track project delivery and ensures all aspects of the design intent are preserved while ensuring the quality of erected works meet Client’s expectations," concluded the studio.

Santiago Calatrava unveils design for Qatar Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai

View from construction of the Qatar Pavilion. Image courtesy of ALEC Fitout

Dubai Expo 2020 was previously postponed due to ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The Dubai Expo will now run from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022, which sees a one-year postponement.

Themed as "Connecting minds, creating the future", the Dubai Expo 2020 was expecting estimated 25 million visitors for the event in the 6 months. 

JKMM Architects, Carlo Ratti Associati, Foster + Partners, Es Devlin were among architects and designers of the Dubai Expo 2020 pavilions. Asif Khan designed gigantic entry portals at Expo 2020 Dubai, while Grimshaw Architects completed Sustainability Pavilion in February this year. 

All renderings courtesy of Calatrava International Architects & Engineers. 

> via Calatrava International Architects & Engineers