Cubes float in a columned forest on the german pavilion of expo 2020 dubai

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embody the message of sustainability

LAVA laboratory for visionary architecture presents its German pavilion at expo 2020 dubai. The structure stands as a collection of cubes suspended between a forest of steel bars, all surrounded by a floating roof. Inside, the team employs sustainable methods, including the intelligent use of local climatic conditions and the reuse of materials. See the previous report by designboom about the first visualizations of the pavilion here.

Tobias Wallisser, Director of LAVA, explains:“The central question was how to sustainably design a temporary exhibition and event space for up to three million visitors in a desert environment. The solution from LAVA linked the Expo theme of connectedness with our approach “more with less”, whereby the focus is on people with nature and technology.

Image © taufik kenan

Building as an exhibit: a tool to connect people

LAVA laboratory for visionary architecture (more on this here) unveils its German pavilion at expo 2020 dubai (more on this here) as a tool to connect people. The positioning of the cantilevered cubes creates a spacious central atrium for meetings and events. At the heart of the visitor experience, this covered vertical space visually connects all functional areas, helps with orientation, creates diverse visual relationships and access points and helps manage large numbers of visitors.

christian Tschersich, project manager, LAVA explains:we wanted to take up the expo motto “connecting minds, create the future” and decided to represent germany as a “campus”, an open place for the exchange of knowledge, ideas and innovations. Instead of placing the buildings horizontally on a plot of land, three hanging cubes are mounted vertically. this loose, porous stacking of volumes, more of an ensemble than a single form, suggests connectedness. ‘

Expo Dubai German PavilionImage © Roland Halbe | @rolandhalbe

Terraces on immersive cubes

the visitor route leads people continuously on terraces (above the cube areas). you can see your past and future tracks, interact with others and enjoy the view of the exhibition grounds. The exhibition rooms designed by facts and fiction (Energy Lab, Future City Lab and Biodiversity Lab) offer individual immersive experiences in the cubes, while terrace exhibitions invite group interaction.

The campus metaphor sees the entire building not as a traditional exhibition hall, but as an exhibit, not just a canvas, but a tool to connect people and content and to experience German innovations.

Expo Dubai German Pavilion
Image © taufik kenan

structural sustainability

the message of the german pavilion at expo 2020 dubai is the structure itself. minimum amount of material creates maximum volume. Three cubes were stacked on a base with other functions (restaurant, pre-show, office, back-of-house) as an abstract landscape. This creates a large volume in the middle, and a roof creates shade and comfort – a technical cloud. a sandwich made up of three parts: landscape, stacked cubes, roof. People between nature and technology.

The clever positioning of the stacked cubes is driven by the local climate and has passive energy-saving functions that reduce the effects of direct sunlight, create natural shade, reduce heat load and optimize the indoor climate. This intelligent shading by the components also enables a “hybrid” air conditioning. it also refers to the design of the courtyard house there with closed external facades and rooms oriented towards an inner air space that open towards each other.

Expo Dubai German Pavilion
Image © Roland Helle

A hybrid facade minimizes the feeling of building mass and creates an iconic frame for the room. On the upper level, a dynamic arrangement of 900 vertical steel bars, a forest of trees swaying in the wind, ensures movement. with gradually changing angles they frame the central atrium and modulate the light.

an opaque, trapezoidal single-layer ETFE membrane can be opened and closed in order to react to different weather conditions such as sandstorms and cooler days during the six-month exhibition period and to minimize the need for air conditioning. The outer shell of the pavilion also includes 1.5 meter wide glass elements that can be rotated and opened and let the building breathe.



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