Star Triumvirate: Foster + Partners, BIG and Grimshaw Reveal Pavilions for Expo 2020 in Dubai

Pat Finn Pat Finn

Plans for Expo 2020 in Dubai are taking shape. Organizers of the event recently announced the designs of the three major pavilions for the exposition, which were chosen from a pool of 13 submissions.

The winning firms are Foster + Partners, BIG and Grimshaw, with each design following one of the three themes for the exposition: mobility, opportunity and sustainability. The pavilions were designed to work within the overall scheme for the exposition, which has been devised by HOK and was first unveiled in December 2013.

“A key criterion for the competition was ensuring that the designs not only embodied one of Expo’s core themes, but also had the flexibility and longevity to live on as landmarks and functional structures after the Expo is complete in 2021,” said the organizers in a statement.

Foster + Partners’ Mobility Pavilion “drew on nearly four decades of pioneering designs including Dubai’s The Index Building and the masterplan for Masdar City,” according to the firm. Its undulating lines suggest continuity and motion.

BIG’s Opportunity Pavilion features a large, open-air garden rooftop. Its geometric form is reminiscent of ancient temples, yet its gravity-defying, vertical design suggests nothing if not the future.

Grimshaw’s design for the Sustainability Pavilion is built on a series of disc-like structures. This building is slated to become a hub for technology development long after the Expo ends.

The winning designs were all chosen by Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, who noted that “after careful study and consideration, three designs stood out, amidst tough competition, as great future structures that will mark our expo as exceptional.” Truly, each of these structures will leave a lasting mark on the urban landscape of Dubai.

All images courtesy of Foster + Partners, BIG and Grimshaw

Pat Finn Author: Pat Finn
Pat Finn is a high school English teacher and a freelance writer on art, architecture, and film. He believes, with Orwell, that "good prose is like a windowpane," but his study of architecture has shown him that a window is only as good as the landscape it looks out on. Pat is based in the New York metro area.
Read more articles by Pat

Bookworm Heaven: Great Bookcase Ideas for the Home or Workplace

This may be the digital age when everything has gone paperless and people digest literature through tablet readers and audiobooks, yet the love affair with a beautifully or cleverly integrated bookcase continues to endure in design, today. Here are some recent projects that have titillated us with their solutions — and product suggestions for creating…

Lyrical Brutalism: This Extraordinary Cliffside Villa Is Set for Construction in Lebanon

Two startling architectural cliffhangers — the cantilevered Biré Bitori restaurant by T ALL ARQUITECTOS and the sublime Cliff Retreat, beautifully rendered by Alex Hogrefe — have gone viral on Architizer during the past month. While these conceptual projects were met with a great deal of awe on Facebook, a number of people were skeptical about these…