What is a World Expo?
Poster of "Exposition Universelle & Internationale De St. Louis" by Alphonse Mucha (1903)
World expos are the oldest and biggest global collaboration events ever held. Hosted by a different city every five years, world expos are an opportunity to bring countries, companies, organizations, and people together, promote education and collaboration between them and debut cutting-edge tech innovations. This is achieved through beautiful displays and immersive activities set up by individual countries.
The first event of this kind was held in London in 1851, and countless iconic architectural marvels, as well as a number of pivotal inventions, were first showcased at the World Expo. For instance, the Eiffel Tower was famously unveiled to the public during the 1889 World Exhibition in Paris.
Likewise, the first World Expo in London premiered the steam engine to the world. Many other inventions, such as the telephone, the X-ray, the washing machine, and more recently, humanoid robots, were all first showcased to the public during an expo.
About Dubai Expo 2020
Like many global events in 2020, the Dubai Expo was rescheduled to run from October 2021 to the end of March 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Held in Dubai, UAE, this is the first World Expo in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia region. 192 countries participate in Dubai Expo 2020. The ongoing world exposition spans across more than a thousand acres (438 hectares) and features beautiful pavilions and other structures from around the world.
The majority of pavilions are set up by individual countries that showcase their unique cultural and tech innovations. The theme for this year’s expo is “Connecting Minds, Creating The Future”. Learn more about the Dubai Expo 2020 on the events official website here - Expo 2020 Dubai.
As promised, we’ll show you the most beautiful pavilions featured in the Dubai Expo 2020 next. Here’s our list of the top 6 most magnificent displays:
1. UK Pavilion by Es Devlin
Certainly one of the most highly anticipated structures of the entire expo is the so-called Poem Pavilion. The UK Pavilion is a conical structure that consists of long laminated timber blocks. On the facade of the structure, a projector displays flashing AI-generated poems.
The poems consist of words in English and Arabic submitted by visitors that are then ordered into poems by an AI algorithm. Es Devlin, the British designer who created the pavilion, aimed to express two key ideas through the UK Pavilion: the future of technology and the cultural diversity of the modern-day UK.
2. UAE Pavilion by Santiago Calatrava
The name Santiago Calatrava probably rings a bell. The Spanish architect is the author of many modern architectural marvels, and we featured many of his works on our site, along with a separate post about the architect here - The Ethereal Architecture of Santiago Calatrava.
The UAE Pavilion is a perfect example of the architect’s recognizable style. The building is draped by 28 wing-like structures that are meant to resemble the wing of a falcon, the national bird of the country. But these carbon fiber “wings” also have a practical purpose - they can move and protect the solar panels placed on the roof of the building.
3. Singapore Pavilion by WOHA
At the Singapore Pavilion, visitors can take a break from the desert sun and step into a plant-filled jungle. The Singapore-based WOHA studio describes the structure they envisioned as a “three-dimensional garden.” Indeed, staircases and walkways criss-cross the building and immerse the visitors into nature.
As WOHA director Phua Hong Wei told Dezeen Magazine, "The core concept for the Singapore Pavilion was to create an oasis in the desert, an escape from the hustle and bustle of the expo, where visitors are instinctively drawn to nature." If you ask our opinion, the resulting structure is a roaring success!
4. Polish Pavilion by WXCA and Bellprat Partner
Even if you’re not able to spot it at first glance, the Polish Pavilion, too, is heavily inspired by nature. The timber building is covered by a mosaic of kinetic sculptures that give it an ethereal appearance. These moving sculptures suspended mid-air represent a flock of migratory birds.
In this way, WXCA and Bellprat Partner hint at the natural connection between the UAE and Poland - the annual migratory patterns of birds between the two countries. The interior of the pavilions is also filled with sounds and images of birdlife and Polish natural environments.
5. Russia Pavillion by Sergei Tchoban
One of the most colorful and bright exhibitions in the entire expo is the Russia Pavilion. While the shape of the pavilion is inspired by the Russian “matryoshka” nesting dolls, the colorful striped exterior represents the ever-evolving and rapid movement of ideas. The exterior is wrapped in colorful aluminum tubes.
On the inside, the architect's brain. The exposition within the building is centered around the ideas of the human brain, knowledge, and creativity. It is through this exchange of knowledge and creativity that Russia contributes to world development - the pavilion’s creators suggest.
6. Sustainability Pavilion by Grimshaw Architects
This stunning structure recently made it to our list of 10 Greatest Architectural Masterpieces of 2021, and for good reason. Without a doubt, “Terra” is one of the most outstanding structures at Dubai Expo 2020. The pavilion was designed by Grimshaw Architects and inspired by the Socotra dragon tree, an ancient evergreen tree that can survive in the harshest desert.
Unlike many other temporary buildings, the Sustainability Pavilion is a permanent structure. It consists of the 442-feet-wide (135 m) central building called the “energy tree” that hosts exhibitions about nature and animal life, as well as a surrounding forest of smaller “trees” that rotate with the sun. All of these structures are covered in solar panels and help the building generate its own electricity. The building also collects water, making it virtually self-sustainable.
Share this information with family and friends!