Evelyn Lee

Foster + Partner's Sand Dune-Inspired UAE Pavilion

by , 04/06/09
filed under: Architecture, New York City

Norman Foster Partners, UAE Pavilion, 2010 Shanghai Pavilion, Sustainable Design, Passive Building, sustainable architecture, green building, energy efficient architecture, united arab emirates pavilion

A golden sand dune-inspired structure begins to take shape as Foster + Partners recently broke ground upon their UAE pavilion for the 2010 Shanghai Expo. A showcase of passive environmental design, the pavilion creates a symbolic reference with the desert landscape over which each of the seven emirates presides. As if modeled by prevailing winds, the pavilion mimics the duality between the rough and smooth sides of a sand dune while making the most of its site. The northern façade allows natural light to filter through its porous structure, while the southern façade is enclosed to minimize heat infiltration during the exhibit.

Norman Foster Partners, UAE Pavilion, 2010 Shanghai Pavilion, Sustainable Design, Passive Building, sustainable architecture, green building, energy efficient architecture, united arab emirates pavilion

Built on a grid system out of stainless steel panels, the pavilion can be easily constructed and deconstructed on site, ensuring that it will find future use (if given the a proper site) after the close of the 2010 Shanghai Expo. However, don’t confuse its mobile constructability with the overall presence of the pavilion – as one of the largest exhibition spaces for the expo, the pavilion encloses more than 3,000 square meters of exhibition space allowing for 450 people to explore its interior while making a statement of the UAE’s view on sustainability.

Gerard Evenden, the project’s Senior Partner says: “The cities of the UAE rise from the desert and the pavilion will similarly emerge to form a natural counterpoint to Shanghai’s urban landscape. Like a sand dune, it is oriented to the direction of the wind and is a powerful example of an organic and highly effective passive environmental design.”

+ Foster + Partners

+ 2010 Shanghai Expo

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1 Comment

  1. petevan April 6, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    Am I the only one who thinks this thing looks suspiciously less like a sand dune and more like a… huge… … anyone…? Maybe I’m just perverse.

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