Postponed one year due to covid, the Expo Dubai 2020 opens on 1st October in the famous city of the Arab Emirates and will be open until the end of March 2022. “Connecting Minds – Creating The Future” is the theme chosen for this huge event that will be visited – at least according to the estimate – by about 25 mln people from all over the world. With a 4.3 square metres flower-shaped, three-petal extension, Expo Dubai is located between the airports of Dubai and Abu Dhabi and at its centre has the immense Al Wasl square, old name of Dubai, which means “connection”. Designed by the well-known Chicago-based architecture studio Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill, the square is topped by a golden dome inspired by the Expo logo evoking a 4-thousand year old ring found during archaeological excavations in Suraq Al Hadid. The three petals develop from the square, each of which is an open-air district that can be visited thanks to suspended roofs providing shade to the visitors as well as 50% of the energy needed for the event thanks to a photovoltaic system. The theme of the future is addressed with particular attention to the environmental challenge, with a focus on renewable energy sources, recycled and recyclable materials, bioclimatic techniques and water recovery.
More than to amaze with impressive architecture, it seems that this edition of Expo was conceived considering its future destination. Indeed, at the end of the event the town will become a smart city called Discrict 2020 designed to reuse 80% of the infrastructure built. That said, at this Expo there is no shortage of eye-catching stands made by the most famous international starchitects like Santiago Calatrava, Norman Foster, Asif Kahn. The Italian pavilion designed by Carlo Ratti, Italo Rota, Matteo Gatto and F&M Ingegneria is beautiful. “The project – explains Ratti – interprets the theme of Italian participation, “Beauty unites people” and it does it starting from the ways in which the history of our country is linked to the dimension of travel and exchange with the Mediterranean, Mid-Eastern and Arab cultures. The naves of three big vessels become the roof of the pavilion, a building exploring three new ways of describing Italy through an architecture inspired by the principles of circular economy: in fact, the ships will keep sailing after the great event thanks to the use of organic materials, to the maximum reduction of waste, to natural materials and digital technologies”. Of great charm is also the Arab Emirates pavilion designed by Santiago Calatrava that pays homage to the flight of the falcon, bird symbol of national identity in the country, the aquatic one of Brazil that recreates the Amazon biodiversity, the Chinese one combining traditional elements and modern technologies and finally the Singapore building wrapped in a dense, lush nature.
Above: Italy Pavilion