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Metaform Architects designs ribbon-like Luxembourg Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai
United Arab Emirates Architecture News - Nov 23, 2021 - 11:32 1655 views
The ribbon-like, sculptural Luxembourg Pavilion takes visitors on a continuous and winding journey through its twisting spaces at Expo 2020 Dubai which is being held from 1 October, 2021 to 31 March 2022 in the United Arab Emirates.
Located in the Opportunity District of Expo site, the pavilion presents a striking and meandering form designed by Luxembourg-based studio Metaform Architects.
Offering a surprising journey where different kinds of spatial arrangements are mixed together, the Luxembourg Pavilion is the only pavilion having a slide for kids inside.
Described as "the journey of senses" by the studio, the architects take inspiration from "a desire to convey a true reflection of Luxembourg’s history, present and future while presenting the values of the country: small but ambitious, intriguing while reassuring, and above all generous and open."
As the studio said, "what better inspiration than a Möbius strip, a loop, a single surface twisted with neither beginning nor end, symbolizing infinity and, most of all, the circular economy and diversity united as one."
According to the studio, "a good flow for visitors to pass through quickly was one of the biggest challenges."
"This is why we created a setback between the main walking street and the pavilion: the space and distance offer a clear perception of the whole," the team added.
Visitors' experience begins in the waiting line, the architects designed a ramp to act as a welcoming red carpet, a guide inviting to discover the building and leading the way in a continuous path, blurring the limit between outside and inside. The main ramp can also be used as a multi-functional space for different activities.
Within the pavilion, the architects aimed to merge user experience with scenography and architecture. In this sense, scenography and architecture are complemented to make visitors merge with the exhibition.
When visitors enter the pavilion, they become part of the scenography. You can take a 360° tour within the pavilion to take a look at the exhibition.
The team uses a didactic, interactive, and intuitive way, different projections and animations to display the country and its people.
"Altogether, it creates a continuous flux of images from start to finish for your experience on the top second floor. The ribbon becomes a multilayered scenography canvas, alternating floor, wall and ceiling as means of expression," the studio added.
The ground floor accommodates a storage area accessible from the back side, restrooms, VIP suite and administration unit with the visibility over the central area, and the restaurant with an open kitchen and the gift shop oriented towards the front area.
The first floor, accessible directly from the main ramp, acts as a multi-functional space. In case of a concert, reception, conference, the side door is closed, and the ramp guides visitors without interruption towards the top.
In case of a temporary exhibition, the door serves as a barrier, and the indoor space becomes an intuitive part of the flow. The second floor, which is the highest reaching point, is dedicated to a themed exhibition space. To reach the earth again, a slide down through the picturesque green patio concludes the journey in a funny, playful way.
"The journey from the bottom to the top is continuous but constantly changing," said Metaform Architects.
"While moving between the inner and outer protective skins, the feeling of being in and out at the same time prevails."
As visitors move, the proportion of the space is changing constantly, "just as Luxembourg City offers similar changes in perception due to its very particular and unique landscape," according to the architects.
The pavilion offers different visual connections that are created parallelly on different levels and through different stages. Ambiances and moods are shifting instantaneously, sparking curiosity to get to know the country.
As one of the requirements of the project, the architects had to use 70 per cent of reused or recycled material. The studio preferred to use a steel construction for the project, which was a challenge for the architects. As they note, the fiber glass membrane, although difficult to recycle, can be reused by the producer who agreed specifically to it for the project.
First and Second floor plans
Expo 2020 Dubai opened on 1 October, 2021 under strict pandemic conditions and will be running until 31 March 2022 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates under the theme of "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future", with three sub-themes Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability.
You can see WAC's comprehensive coverage about other pavilions on WAC's United Arab Emirates Country Page.
Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Typology: Exposition Pavilion
Size: 2100 m2
Client: GIE LUXEMBOURG @ EXPO2020DUBAI
External Collaborator: Jangled Nerves
Award: 1st prize in Dubai Expo2020 Competition for Luxembourg Pavilion
All images © Steve Troes
All drawings © Metaform Architects
> via Metaform Architects