A Green Expo in the Desert Sand
Architects: Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill
Location: Dubai (AE)
The centre of the fairgrounds, Al Wal Plaza, will be crowned by a dome measuring 67.5 m in height and 150 m in diameter. Made of steel, it was designed by American architect duo Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill of Chicago. Like the petals of a huge flower, the three main thematic areas of Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability join together. Their main structure is being planned by the above-named international stars: Werner Sobek is responsible for Dubai Shades, which will provide shelter from the sun along the 6-km path. 136 individual pavilions devoted to countries, NGOs and commercial partners will be grouped around the spatial forcefield of the three theme-based pavilions.
The Dubai World Trade Centre, a metro station and the Expo Village (2,100 apartments) with its associated shopping centre have been developed as a desert area measuring approximately 438 ha and positioned 37 km southwest of the centre of Dubai. This area is connected to the city via a multilane highway and a 15-km extension to the metro, all the way to the end station, just one stop away at the new Al Maktoum International Airport. Since the start of construction last year, 1.27 billion euros have flowed into the building sector. The infrastructure should be complete by April 2018. A mock-up of the various façade types of the Expo Village is already present, and the reinforced-concrete skeletons of the thematic pavilions are rising from the arid ground. These include extensive infrastructure for underground parkades, whose true purpose will be known only after the Expo, when the Legacy Phase is initiated on the grounds. Around 80 % of the building projects will have a future use. A driving force here is Siemens, the premium sponsor of Expo and the first company to take on the post-Expo-2020 development strategy. The firm plans to open its worldwide logistics headquarters there.