expo 2020 dubai

Designboom_exactly one year before the opening of expo 2020 dubai, italy has unveiled the final design for its national pavilion, conceived by carlo ratti associati (CRA), italo rota building office, matteo gatto & associati, and F&M ingegneria. the design, which was previewed on designboom here, comprises three boats that will embark on a figurative journey to dubai before being converted to form the structure’s roof. after the event is over, the boats — considered an exploration of recycling, circularity and digitally reconfigurable architecture — will move on and be reused elsewhere.

the design of the pavilion uses materials such as orange peels, coffee grounds, mycelium, and recycled plastic extracted from the ocean, as construction elements. the pavilion is exposed to the atmosphere, using natural climate control strategies instead of air conditioning. space is delimited by an adaptable façade made of LED curtains and nautical ropes, which will create a digital layer able to broadcast multimedia content.

we liked the idea of a pavilion that would continuously mutate into different forms,’ explains carlo ratti, founding partner of CRA and director of the MIT senseable city lab. ‘we pursued a kind of architecture that could be reconfigured both in the long term — because of its circularity — and in the short term — thanks to digital technologies.’

the pavilion’s roof is a sinuous surface that recalls sea and desert waves. meanwhile, the base of the pavilion is carved out of a giant sand dune, accessible to people. the project makes a conscious effort to integrate materials that hint at dubai’s local geography, as well as organic waste to experiment with more sustainable building practices and engage with the circular economy. for instance, the exhibition will stretch over a dune made with real sand, while the skywalk will be clad in materials obtained from discarded orange peels and used coffee grounds.

the pavilion is circular in nature. nothing goes to waste; instead, we reclaim it and reimagine its purpose,’ adds architect italo rota, founding partner of italo rota building office. ‘the sea will figuratively enter the structure through one of its living organisms, seaweeds, which will be used to produce energy and food.’ the pavilion, along with expo 2020’s other buildings, will open its doors on october 20, 2020, and will remain on view until april 10, 2021.