Foster + Partners, BIG and Grimshaw win architecture competition for Dubai 2020 Expo pavilions

by Kim Megson | 14 Mar 2016

The organisers of the Dubai Expo 2020 have revealed the three star practices who will design the main pavilions for the event, following a highly competitive international architecture competition.

Foster + Partners, Grimshaw Architects and Bjarke Ingels Group have been named winners of the contest – which was held by real estate company Emaar Properties – and will design pavilions themed around mobility, sustainability and opportunity respectively. The studios overcame competition from 10 rivals to win the high-profile tenders.

The pavilions will be the centrepieces of the 2sq km expo site, surrounding the central Al Wasl meeting plaza. According to Emaar, each will showcase “the latest ideas, innovations and developments whilst providing the visitors with an immersive and memorable experience”, following the expo’s central theme of Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.

“The competition attracted a truly stellar line up of architectural firms that each put forward designs that impressed all those involved in the selection process,” said Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chair of the Expo Higher Committee. “After careful study and consideration, three designs stood out, amidst tough competition, as great future structures that will mark our Expo as exceptional.”

The designs were selected for embodying the expo’s core themes and for their flexibility and ability to to live on as landmarks and functional structures after the event is complete in 2021.

Grimshaw's sustainability pavilion has been particularly earmarked for long-term use as a ‘cluster’ centre promoting innovative technologies.

“The winning theme pavilion designs further build on the UAE and Dubai’s proven record in iconic architectural design, particularly when considering their long-term functionality, sustainability and contribution to Expo 2020’s legacy and Dubai’s long-term development,” said Mohamed Alabbar, Expo Higher Committee member and chair of Emaar Properties.

The United Arab Emirates won the right to host the World Expo in November 2013. The event will last six months and is expected to attract 25 million visitors, 70 per cent of whom will travel from overseas – making the event hugely significant for regional tourism.

Nations, international organisations and businesses will stage their own pavilions, exhibits and cultural events centred around the expo’s wider themes.

A consortium of HOK and Arup professionals has been merged to design the event's host venue, the Dubai Trade Centre-Jebel Ali.

Foster + Partners  BIG  Grimshaw  architecture competition  Dubai  World Expo 2020 Expo  design  pavilions  sustainability 
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The organisers of the Dubai Expo 2020 have revealed the three star practices who will design the main pavilions for the event, following a highly competitive international architecture competition. Foster + Partners, Grimshaw Architects and Bjarke Ingels Group have been named winners of the contest – which was held by real estate company Emaar Properties – and will design pavilions themed around mobility, sustainability and opportunity respectively. The studios overcame
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The Mobility pavilion by Foster + Partners / Expo 2020 Dubai
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