Dubai Expo 2020 pavilions: Winning architects named

Foster + Partners, BIG and Grimshaw Architects win design competition

PHOTO: Foster + Partners submitted the winning proposal for the Mobility Pavilion. Credit: Expo 2020

Three architecture firms have won a competition to design the centrepiece pavilions of the Dubai Expo 2020, with images of the upcoming buildings also unveiled by officials.

Foster + Partners, BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) and Grimshaw Architects were behind the winning designs, according a statement.

Thirteen of the world’s leading architectural firms took part in the global competition, launched in July 2015 by Emaar Properties on behalf of Expo 2020.

The winners were unveiled by Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum – Chairman of the Expo Higher Committee, Dubai Airports and Emirates Airline – in partnership with Emaar.

“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. After careful study and consideration, three designs stood out, amidst tough competition, as great future structures that will mark our Expo as exceptional,” said Sheikh Ahmed.

The three pavilions were around the themes of ‘opportunity’, ‘mobility’ and ‘sustainability’, and will form the centrepiece of the two square kilometre Expo site. A key factor in the competition was that the designs would have “the flexibility and longevity to live on as landmarks and functional structures after the Expo is complete in 2021,” according to a press statement.

The winning design for the Opportunity Pavilion was submitted by BIG. “Their design philosophy reflects a belief that contemporary urban life is a result of the confluence of cultural exchange, global economic trends and communication technologies. BIG are known for its innovative approach to architecture and are currently working on the design of a new headquarters for Google,” the statement said.

“Foster + Partners, the internationally renowned practice, based in London, submitted the winning proposal for the Mobility Pavilion. Their design drew on nearly four decades of pioneering designs including Dubai’s The Index building, and the masterplan for Masdar City.

“The winning design for the Sustainability Pavilion, which will become a long term ‘cluster’ centre promoting innovative technologies, was submitted by Grimshaw Architects. The firm designed the Eden project in Cornwall, UK, and is a leader in the field of sustainable architecture.”


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