WOHA Designs Singapore 2020 Expo Pavilion

John Hill
28. August 2019
Image courtesy of WOHA

Singapore's WOHA has been selected by the Urban Redevelopment Authority to design the Singapore Pavilion for Expo 2020 Dubai, which will open to the public in October 2020.

Expo 2020 Dubai is being developed under "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future," a fairly ambiguous theme that is being translated into hundreds of pavilions grouped into three sub-theme districts: Opportunity, Mobility, and Sustainability. Singapore's contribution will be situated in the Sustainability District, which will be anchored by a pavilion designed by Grimshaw Architects. 

WOHA's design for the three-story Singapore Pavilion follows the theme "Nature. Nurture. Future." With tropical trees, shrubs and orchids, a hanging garden, and three cones draped in vertical greenery, the renderings of the pavilion make it look like a WOHA project transplanted from lush Singapore to Dubai's desert environment. WOHA's Wong Mun Summ even says in a statement, "With our design, we aim to show that it is possible to build a self-sufficient green oasis anywhere in the world, even in the desert."

"The pavilion has a clear architectural diagram of three cones sheltered by a solar canopy. Visitors experience a multitude of interesting spaces and content as they weave through and between these elements." (Image courtesy of WOHA)

The layered design is organized through landscaped "Garden Cones" that include sensory and multimedia displays and a meandering canopy walk that brings visitors to an open sky market platform. This highest level is shaded by a solar canopy and further cooled through fine mist fans, while the lowest level, called the Ground Galleria, consists of displays and a retail space.

"Right above the hanging gardens is the open sky market platform, a place for congregation and engagement, where visitors can also get a taste of Singapore’s rich food heritage. It is topped by a solar canopy which simultaneously generates electricity and provides shade and shelter to the sky market." (Image courtesy of WOHA)

Wong Mun Summ further explains the idea behind WOHA's design: "Planting more trees and creating more green spaces is the best way to take immediate action against climate change – recent studies show it to be the most effective, cost-efficient and broadly available solution to combat global warming and it can be done now, anywhere. Singapore has been exploring many ways to become one of the greenest places in the world and we hope to share this knowledge and innovation at the World EXPO."

Other pavilions that will be present alongside Singapore in the Sustainability District include Austria (querkraft), Belgium (Assar Architects and Vincent Callebaut Architectures), Japan (Yuko Nagayama and NTT Facilities), Spain (Amann-Canovas-Maruri), Switzerland (OOS), and the United Kingdom (Es Devlin Studio, Avantgarde and Veretec).

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