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Sustainability Pavilion

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Sustainability Pavilion – Grimshaw Architects

It comes as no surprise that the winner of the sustainability pavilion for Expo 2020 is the British firm Grimshaw Architects. Nicholas Grimshaw, who founded his firm back in 1985 currently has seven different offices worldwide, among those one in Dubai. Grimshaw has always been at the forefront in the field of sustainable architecture, renewable energies and environmentally friendly technologies. A design competition was launched by Emaar Properties on behalf of Expo 2020 in July 2015 for the realization of the three main theme pavilions: mobility, sustainability, opportunity won respectively by Foster and Partners, Grimshaw Architects, and BIG.

The three pavilions will be the center of the expo, surrounded by the national pavilions.

The winning design for the Sustainability Pavilion will thus become a long term ‘cluster’ center promoting innovative technologies. The concept looks rather simple with buildings resembling pond plants. But as usual simplicity is a result of a complex set of formula.

The architects explain how designing a project that could be achieved in such a challenging environment, hot and arid, became an opportunity because “if you can build something that is sustainable in such a desert environment, you can then replicate it in environments that are more friendly.” Indeed, the pavilion will be completely self-sustained. As the planet warms up and becomes more arid, this becomes more and more relevant.

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Daria Ricchi

Daria Ricchi is an architectural historian and writer. She is currently visiting fellow at Oxford University, UK.
She has a Ph.D. in history and theory of architecture from Princeton University. She has taught at Princeton University, Yale University, and Parson. The New School, New York.
She published widely in scholarly and non-scholarly magazines (area, casamica- il corriere della sera, Low-Res, Pidgin, Threshold, AA Files).

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