Al Wasl Plaza is the centerpiece and beating heart of Expo 2020 Dubai and the post-expo Legacy District. With a 130-meter-diameter base, the domed shade structure is an urban-scale “room-for-living” that reduces the temperature the space by 12° compared with its surrounding outdoor spaces. Al Wasl is not a traditional programmable building - it is more spiritual in nature - with a goal of creating harmony and joy with opportunities for self-reflection and interaction among users.
The Al Wasl dome is an open public platform that was built for the pure enjoyment and wonder of the visitor. The space is flexible in its staging, allowing for a variety of activities from small-scale lectures and artistic performances to larger-scale musical and theatrical productions. The lush garden provides areas to quietly contemplate the beauty of nature.
Al Wasl Plaza maximizes its positive impact by extending its use past daylight hours as a cultural and educational platform after dusk and throughout the night. The same fabric whose day-function provides shade, after dusk becomes a projection screen for a 360° immersive experience. Curated digital content transports visitors through time and space with education, inspiration, joy, and wonder as qualitative aspects of the experience. Al Wasl’s impact also reaches beyond its site boundaries. The vibrant projections are seen from outside the expo districts in all directions. Its light and ethereal materiality act as an inviting lantern to engage and delight Dubai’s nightlife.
The scale and rich detail of Al Wasl provides a cultural reference for its district and city. Its natural environment promotes an urgent re-encounter with nature. Its technology enhancements offer possibilities to reach limitless potential for communication, education, and cultural experiences. With its distinguishable features, Al Wasl provides a culturally, environmentally, and timely sense of space for the visitor to enjoy and embrace.