A new wave of starchitect designs will soon touch down in the UAE. Foster + Partners, BIG, and Grimshaw Architects just won an international competition to design three pavilions for the 2020 World Expo hosted by Dubai. Designed for the theme “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future,” the trio of forward-thinking structures will form the centerpiece for the 438-hectare Expo site in Jebel Ali, a port town located midway between Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Held every five years, the Registered World Expo is hosted by a city that has bid and won the right to hold the event. The winning city must select a universal theme for the Expo, which can be held at a maximum of six months in length. The 2020 Expo’s selected trio of pavilions in Dubai symbolize, and are titled accordingly to, the event’s three core tenets: Mobility, designed by Foster + Partners; Sustainability, designed by Grimshaw Architects; and Opportunity, designed by BIG.
In addition to their designs, the pavilions were selected for their ability to be adapted for alternative use after the Expo ends in 2021. “The winning theme pavilion designs further build on the UAE and Dubai’s proven record in iconic architectural design, particularly when considering their long-term functionality, sustainability and contribution to Expo 2020’s legacy and Dubai’s long-term development,” said Expo committee member His Excellency Mohamed Alabbar. Dubai will host the World Expo between October 2020 and April 2021.