In October, Expo 2020 Dubai will open its doors for what organisers have promised will be the World’s Greatest Show. 192 countries are taking part – here’s a look at some of the top Expo 2020 pavilions that visitors will be able to enjoy.
Expo 2020 Dubai takes place from 20 October 2020 and lasts for six months. During that time, 192 countries from around the world will be showcasing their very best innovations. We’ve rounded up some of the top Expo 2020 pavilions to show the huge range of experiences that guests can expect.
The Expo 2020 Dubai pavilions all align with one of the event’s key themes of opportunity, mobility and sustainability.
Top Expo 2020 pavilions
Australia’s pavilion explores the topic of mobility and is designed by bureau^proberts. Inspiration for the design comes from the cumulus cloud, often seen in Australia.
The theme is ‘Blue Sky Dreaming’. Guests will be able to discover more about Australian astronomy as they embark on an immersive journey, highlighting the country’s spirit of optimism, innovation and diversity.
As well as this, the top floor will feature a variety of events, created to build new networks and encourage people to work together to solve worldwide issues. The pavilion also showcases intelligent water-saving technology from Australia.
The Azerbaijan pavilion focuses on sustainability. It features a special ‘green’ design to echo this, including a unique leaf-shaped roof.
While wandering through its 1,300 square metres of gardens and walkways, guests will be inspired to reflect on their own impact on the world around them, and how their choices can make a difference. The design also features a host of green credentials, including solar power, natural ventilation and rainwater harvesting technology.
Simmetrico is the architect behind the project, which has a theme of ‘Seeds for the Future’.
This is another of the top Expo 2020 pavilions on the theme of sustainability. Designed by WOHA, it boasts a net-zero energy rainforest that is powered by a self-sustaining ecosystem.
The synergy between nature and architecture found at this pavilion illustrates the spirit of Singapore’s innovations when it comes to sustainability. Guests will take part in an immersive 3D experience that looks at mankind’s resilience in the face of changing climate.
The pavilion also showcases the story of Singapore, through a range of interactive exhibits and events, as well as culinary experiences.
The UK pavilion is based around the theme of opportunity and looks at how we can innovate for a shared future. The architects behind this project are Es Devlin Studio, Avantgarde and Veretec.
The outside of the pavilion features a poem that is continuously changing and evolving. This is generated both by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and by the contribution of visitors. The inspiration comes from a project by Stephen Hawking, the late theoretical physicist, cosmologist and author.
Inside, guests will get a sneak peek at several future innovations, from AI to the commercialisation of space.
Another of the top Expo 2020 pavilions is from New Zealand and is designed around the theme of Sustainability. Based on the Maori value of kaitiakitanga – the deep kinship between the environment and people – it aims to connect visitors with nature.
Designed by architects Jasmax, the pavilion illustrates waka taonga: the Maori tradition of using handcrafted containers to safeguard valuable items. Guests will be introduced to the essential values of New Zealand as they learn the importance of caring for the world around us.
Belgium’s pavilion explores the topic of mobility and is the brainchild of Assar Architects and Vincent Callebaut Architectures. It takes this theme seriously, as it actually produces more energy than it consumes.
This ‘green ark’ looks at how Belgium is striving to be smart and green for the future. It is fuelled by renewable energy, and also uses smart technology in order to feed its 10,000 plants, many of which cover the exterior.
Republic of Korea
This mobility-themed pavilion features a façade that changes throughout the day, meaning guests will get a different experience depending on the time of their visit.
Designed by Mooyuki Architects, it centres around the theme of ‘Smart Korea, Moving the World to You’. Here, visitors will enjoy a unique experience featuring VR and interactive elements, as well as a kinetic installation.
Malaysia’s contribution is a net-zero carbon pavilion, where visitors can experience the best of the country’s culture. The theme of this pavilion is ‘Energising Sustainability’, and it is designed to illustrate Malaysia’s mission to balance environmental concerns with social-economic progress.
It will put on over 500 shows during the course of Expo 2020 Dubai. One highlight is the #MyButterflyEffect campaign, which has been created to showcase Malaysia’s commitment to both the environment and progress.
Next on our list of top Expo 2020 pavilions is this creation from Saudi Arabia, which fits into the opportunity strand, with a theme of ‘The Sky is the Limit’.
Designed by Boris Micka Associates, this pavilion covers 13,000 square kilometres. It conjures the image of a large window that opens up from the ground and soars towards the sky.
The Saudi Arabia pavilion will explore both the cultural heritage and the natural wonders of the country. It will also highlight the energy and creativity of its people, and look at how Saudi Arabia is shaping the future.
Turkmenistan is another of our top Expo 2020 pavilions that is based around the theme of mobility. It invites guests to take a journey through the country’s culture, alongside its iconic Akhal-Teke horses.
Visitors will be welcomed by a fountain sculpture, featuring five of the native Akhal-Teke horses, which embody national pride. There will also be a 50 metre LED façade.
The pavilion is designed by Tekmil Architects around the theme of ‘The Power of Five’. It aims to immerse guests in an experience that stimulates all their senses. 360 degree projected images of the five horses will surround visitors and reflect their own movement as they explore the space.
Visitors to Switzerland’s pavilion will be transported to the country’s alpine scenery and invited to take a hike through its rugged landscape. Based on the topic of opportunity, this pavilion has the theme of ‘Belles Vues’ and is inspired by Bedouin tents. The architect is OOS.
Switzerland’s contribution to Expo 2020 Dubai is designed to showcase its cultural values, as well as its response to the challenges of the future.
It will also feature a theatre, rising from a dramatic foggy scene. Meanwhile, at the end of their hike, guests will be rewarded by stunning views of Expo 2020 from the pavilion’s rooftop restaurant, where they can enjoy national dishes.
The Oman Pavilion, with its theme of ‘Opportunities over Time’ fits into the mobility strand. Adi Architecture is behind the design.
This pavilion showcases frankincense – Oman’s ‘gift to the world’. It also celebrates this valuable resin through the shape of the pavilion’s exterior. The design conjures an image of the tree that frankincense comes from.
Guests will journey through five zones, discovering Omani progress over the centuries. Frankincense has helped to shape the country in many ways. It has a wide range of uses from medicine and cosmetics to food.
Russia’s mobility-inspired pavilion will explore ways of solving the challenges of the future, such as ‘how do we find our places in the world?’ and ‘How can we better understand each other despite our differences?’
The architects behind this project are Tchoben SPEECH and Simpateka Entertainment Group. It will offer a stunning view over the Expo 2020 Dubai site, particularly at night time.
After pondering the possibilities of tomorrow and exploring Russia’s expertise across several fields, visitors will also be able to enjoy delicious food offerings from the country.
The Philippines is hosting another of the top Expo 2020 pavilions designed around the theme of sustainability. It takes inspiration from nature in its design, which is based on the coral reef (Bangkóta). BUDJI + ROYAL Architecture + Design, the team behind the pavilion, has used the coral’s natural shape to create a welcoming and open space.
Visitors will encounter the history and culture of the Philippines as they venture through the interconnected, multi-level structure. This echoes the openness of the country’s culture and will also feature insights into travel, migration and technology.
The pavilion carries a message about sustainability and the need for a vibrant vision for the future.
With the theme of ‘Czech Spring’, this structure also fits into the sustainability strand. It explores how technology can be used to solve some of the issues around climate change.
Formosa AA is the architect behind this pavilion, which also features a unique solar-powered centrepiece. Here, visitors can discover technology that creates usable land out barren desert, by taking water vapour from the air.
Next on our list of top Expo 2020 pavilions is Brazil’s contribution. This has the theme of ‘Together for Diversity’ and is one of the pavilions looking at sustainability.
The architects are JPG.ARQ, MMBB and Ben-Avid. The structure recreates the Amazon basin and allows guests to wander through a water feature as they learn about the country’s impressive diversity, both in its flora and fauna and in its arts and culture.
The exhibition will also showcase Brazil’s biodiversity and its vision for sustainable production.
The Netherlands is creating a pavilion around the theme of ‘Uniting Water, Energy and Food’ thanks to V8 Architects. This sustainability pavilion takes the form of a miniature world with its own climate system.
Innovations here include a cone-shaped vertical farm. Visitors will also be able to see sustainability in action, as the pavilion harvests water, energy and food within its naturally-controlled climate.
Furthermore, the building will use locally-sourced materials. These will also be recycled after the event.
This mobility-themed offer from Finland is next on our list of top Expo 2020 pavilions. It will remind visitors of the country’s wintery landscapes as the design resembles an Arabic tent made of snow. This design choice brings together both Finland and the host country.
The theme is ‘Sharing Innovative Competences’ and the architect behind the project is JKMM. Other features of the pavilion include a wooden gorge that provides a peaceful spot to take in the surroundings inside.
In addition to this, guests will discover many innovations from Finland. This includes projects on education and sustainable technology as well as health, all set against the country’s stunning scenery.
This sustainability pavilion invites guests to enrol at ‘Campus Germany’ as they discover what environmental ideas and technologies the country has to offer.
It features themed areas such as the Energy Lab, the Future City Lab and the Biodiversity Lab. While visitors explore these zones, they will also have the option to wear cutting-edge connected devices.
The pavilion is by LAVA architects, in collaboration with facts and fiction. It also includes interactive experiences, such as an exhibit on sustainability featuring 155,000 balls coloured to match Germany’s flag, and a group task that explores the theme of collaboration.
On the theme of ‘Light, Lights’, the design of France’s pavilion shows the country’s rich cultural heritage, as well as its commitment to sustainability.
It explores light, and how light enables progress, connection and creativity. This links to the Age of Enlightenment, an 18th-century movement heavily influenced by French thinkers at the time.
The pavilion is designed by Atelier du Prado Architectes and Celnikier & Grabli. It will feature a range of entertainment and exhibitions, including daily light shows, solar-powered art and an innovation lab.
This is another of the top Expo 2020 pavilions on the theme of mobility. Visitors will be able to discover more about Peru’s history and culture. The pavilion also explores how the country has had an influence on the wider world throughout the ages.
The pavilion includes displays that illustrate how the county’s cultural diversity and ancient wisdom can help to tackle global issues. Furthermore, guests can enjoy a sensory experience that showcases Peru’s incredible biodiversity. They can also witness real-time construction of the last Inca bridge, ‘Q’eswachaka’.
The theme is ‘Timeless, always Peru’ and the architect is Habitare.
This sustainability-themed offer from Spain highlights the country’s ties with the Arabic world. It also showcases Spanish creativity throughout history. There are many topics to discover in the pavilion’s town square atmosphere, from new innovations and traditional entertainment to historical adventures.
The building will cool visitors naturally, thanks to the unique cone-shape. They can also relax in small ‘town squares’ along the way, while they discover more about 800 years of Islamic rule in Spain.
The theme is ‘People and Places’, and the architect behind the project is Amann-Canovas-Maruri
Within the Belarus pavilion, which deals with the theme of opportunity, guests will enjoy a forest experience that illustrates how we can learn from nature.
The building centres around the theme of ‘Forest of Future Technology’. The architect is NUSSLI Adunic AG. Inside, visitors will find an interactive ‘Tree of Mind’ installation. There will also be entertaining shows by Belarusian folk and dance performers.
Visitors to the exhibits will think about collaboration, and about how nature and technology can work together for a brighter, more unified future.
The final entry on our list of top Expo 2020 pavilions is Thailand’s pavilion, created around the topic of mobility. This is by architects Index Creative Village and the theme is “Mobility for the Future”
As they approach, guests will view the curtain of over 500 woven artificial flowers that will cover the building. Inside, they will find out more about Thailand, a country famous for its warm hospitality. They will also discover how it is creating new innovations for the future in the fields of transport, connectivity and mobility.
In addition to this, visitors will have the opportunity to create flower engravings in the pavilion garden. Meanwhile, inside they can observe an art installation called “The Miracle of Smiles”.
All images courtesy of Expo 2020 Dubai, background image, the Philippines pavilion.