With Expo 2020 now on the horizon, construction has begun on what promises to be one of the signature structures for the Dubai event. Modeled on a winning design submitted by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, who is known for striking, often all-white structures that blend futuristic silhouettes with organic inspirations, the pavilion will occupy a footprint of over 49,000 square feet across a total of four floors, topped by a hospitality lounge. Taking aesthetic inspiration from the feathered wings of a falcon in flight, the design is an attempt to embody the expo’s theme of Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.
From the perspective of Emirati officials, the proposed structure encapsulates the exact image that the host country wants to project onto the world stage. “The UAE Pavilion will undoubtedly be one of the most prominent attractions of Expo 2020, drawing in many millions to witness its futuristic design,” said Expo 2020 chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum. “It will be a wonderful opportunity to share our Emirati culture and achievements while showcasing our ambitious vision for the future.”
Now that the ceremony for breaking ground has taken place, Arabtec Construction—known for the Louvre Abu Dhabi and the expansion of Abu Dhabi International Airport— will get to work on building the pavilion. Current estimates target a late 2019 completion, with plenty of time to spare before Expo 2020 opens its doors to the public in October of that year. See more renderings of the structure below.