Santiago Calatrava unveils Qatar pavilion design for Expo 2020 Dubai

Spanish architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava unveiled the design of the Qatar pavilion at Expo 2020 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The design is inspired by the four elements depicted on the Qatar coat of arms and will include two main galleries and exhibition spaces, providing visitors with engaging, inclusive and interactive environments.

Courtesy of ALEC FITOUTCourtesy of ALEC FITOUTCourtesy of ALEC FITOUTCourtesy of Calatrava+ 10

The design of the pavilion is inspired by the two crossed and curved swords, a dhow and an island with palm trees depicted on the coat of arms of Qatar. The structure reflects the cultural elements of the nation, highlighting movement, mobility, strength and tradition with a modern interpretation of Qatar’s progressive outlook for the future. The architect’s philosophy explains that “every innovative design must emanate from its cultural context, conveying traditional sensibility through modern architecture to create truly inspiring structures”.

Courtesy of Calatrava
Courtesy of Calatrava

The inspiration is derived from the national emblem of Qatar to truly capture the essence and vision of the nation. The architectural gesture and structural form of the pavilion, which houses the entire visitor experience, reflect the shape of the dhow and its large sails. The sculptural monument at the entrance to the pavilion represents an abstract translation and fusion of two intertwined palm trees, while the reflective pools and integrated water features surrounding the pavilion represent the Persian Gulf which encompasses the nation of Qatar. – Micael Calatrava, CEO of Calatrava International


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The total area of ​​the project covers approx. 960 m², with a built area of ​​620 m². The intersecting elements of the main building will rise almost 15 meters and the adjacent sculptural structure will rise up to 20 meters. Upon entering the pavilion, visitors have an immersive experience that showcases Qatar’s past, present and future through visual arts and attractive interior spaces.

Courtesy of ALEC FITOUT
Courtesy of ALEC FITOUT

Construction of the project reached an advanced stage ahead of the scheduled opening of Expo 2020 on October 1st, 2021. The Santiago Calatrava project team is led by Micael Calatrava, in collaboration with the main contractor, ALEC FITOUT, as well as the reference engineer of the project, Aurecon.



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