October 30th 2017. The works for the national pavilions are starting. Dubai expo 2020 is supposed to host 180 countries and six continents, for a total of 135 national pavilions that will mainly begin their construction in the spring 2018.
The hosting nation, the United Arab Emirates just unveiled the selected architect for its national pavilion following a fierce competition. The pavilion will be designed by the Spanish architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava, already responsible for the tower DCH. The competition lasted seven months and the National Media Council of the United Arab Emirates selected Calatrava’s proposal out of eleven projects and nine architectural firms. The choice demonstrates once again the power of symbolism in architectural practice and its role for Dubai Expo. Indeed, if Calatrava is known for his work between engineering and architecture, he is also known for bridging innovation and tradition.
The pavilion will have a concrete structure resembling a falcon in flight and will raise from the center of the Expo site expecting 25 million visitors. The UAE Minister of State and National Media Council Chairman H.E. Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber explained how this figurative symbolism was exactly the intent of the organizing committee. He mentioned how Dubai’s founding father used falconry expeditions to connect the different tribes and enhance the communication among them, this created “a distinct national identity which ultimately led to the founding of the United Arab Emirates.” The idea underlining most of 2020 Expo seems that of including high tech facilities and innovative technologies within an historical legacy.