Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Dubai Expo 2020 reveals replacement for BIG’s ditched pavilion

  • Comment

The proposed replacement for BIG’s scrapped Opportunity pavilion at the Expo 2020 in Dubai has been unveiled

The scheme is backed by UK-based exhibition design group Event Communications working with Australian practice Cox Architecture and, at 4,500m², is significantly smaller than BIG’s original 12,000m² concept.

Bjarke Ingels’ practice was originally selected to mastermind the structure, one of the three centrepiece pavilions for the Expo, alongside buildings by Foster + Partners and Grimshaw. Those firms have been retained to design, respectively, the mobility and sustainability-themed pavilions. 

But the organisers of the huge world fair in the Arab Emirate went cool on the Danish superstar’s ambitious plans, which featured a huge roof and was designed to look like a ‘billowing curtain’ (see below). It began the global search for a new design team last year.

The fully recyclable new proposal will be built from 2,500 tonnes of stone, and features a spiral-shaped canopy made from around 111km of woven rope.

Cox Architecture principal director Steve Woodland described its pavilion as a ‘welcoming space that draws people together and sets them on a fun and engaging journey that progressively immerses them as active participants in a mind-awakening experience’.

He said: ‘The pavilion will feature a rope-and-light theme throughout, with intertwined ropes reflecting the coming together of people to contribute to human progress, giving them a sense of fulfilment and encouraging further action.’

The structure will also house Small Steps, Big Leaps, the Expo’s global best practice programme, which calls for every World Expo to ‘showcase successful and impactful solutions’ to the world’s biggest challenges.

All three pavilions will sit within the 2km² Expo site surrounding its main meeting plaza and are planned to showcase the latest ideas, innovations and developments.

The six-month-long Expo will run from October 2020 to April 2021 and is expected to attract 25 million visitors.

The original three pavilions 

Opportunity pavilion by BIG – now scrapped

Expo 2020

Expo 2020

Opportunity pavilion by BIG

Mobility pavilion by Foster + Partners

Expo 2020

Expo 2020

Mobility pavilion by Foster + Partners

Sustainability pavilion by Grimshaw

Expo 2020

Expo 2020

Sustainability pavilion by Grimshaw

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs

AJ Jobs