Exactly one year before the opening of the World Fair in Dubai, Carlo Ratti Associati has unveiled images for Italy’s Expo 2020 pavilion. Created in collaboration with Italo Rota Building Office, matteogatto&associati and F&M Ingegneria, the temporary structure embodies circular principles to minimize waste and integrate recycled materials such as coffee grounds, mycelium and ocean plastic. To reduce the building’s environmental footprint, natural climate control strategies will be used instead of air conditioning.

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aerial view of curvy pavilion with red, white and green roof

Inspired by the seafaring populations of the Mediterranean basin, the Italy Expo 2020 pavilion will be constructed out of three boats that will delivered to the site as a symbol of the figurative journey from Italy to Dubai. Once on site, the boats will be transformed into the pavilion’s roof with an undulating shape that recalls the sea and desert waves. Sinuous lines will be repeated at the base of the pavilion, which will be built from a giant dune made with real sand. Meanwhile, an adaptable facade made from LED lights and nautical ropes will be installed to broadcast multimedia content.

Related: WOHA unveils a lush, net-zero Singapore Pavilion for the 2020 World Expo

rendering of people walking past a tall pavilion

“We liked the idea of a pavilion that would continuously mutate into different forms,” said Carlo Ratti, founding partner of Carlo Ratti Associati and director of the MIT Senseable City Lab. “We pursued a kind of architecture that could be reconfigured both in the long-term — because of its circularity — and in the short term — thanks to digital technologies.”

pavilion interior with curved ceilings and plants on the walls
rendering of pavilion interior with huge hanging plants

The pavilion’s circular design will be rendered visible in the construction. The skywalk, for example, will be constructed with materials created from discarded orange peels and used coffee grounds. Italy’s Expo 2020 Pavilion will open its doors to the public on October 20, 2020 in Dubai and remain open until April 10, 2021.

+ Carlo Ratti Associati

Renderings by Gary di Silvio, Pasquale Milieri, Gianluca Zimbardi / Carlo Ratti Associati

rendering of pavilion with LED facade