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Architect Santiago Calatrava reveals Qatar Pavilion, built on expedited timeline

Architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava unveiled the design for the Qatar Pavilion at Expo 2020 in Dubai, UAE. The Pavilion’s design combines elements of sculpture and structure resulting in an architectural beacon representative of Qatar’s vision of the future, while paying tribute to the nation’s rich cultural heritage.

The Pavilion’s design draws inspiration from the four elements represented on the Coat of Arms of Qatar: two crossed and curved swords, encompassing a Dhow and Island with palm trees. The expressive form of the Pavilion combines and translates these cultural elements to capture movement, mobility, strength and tradition. Calatrava’s design emulates a modern interpretation which symbolizes Qatar’s progressive outlook of the future while remaining true to its culture and heritage.

Designed by architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava, the Qatar Pavilion’s design draws inspiration from the four elements represented on the Coat of Arms of Qatar. Image courtesy of Santiago Calatrava.

Covering an area of approximately 960 square meters (10,333 square feet), the Qatar Pavilion accommodates a total built up area of approximately 620 square meters (6,674 square feet). The iconic, intersecting structures of the main building will ascend upwards to nearly 15 meters (49 feet) in height, with an adjacent sculptural monument rising to 20 meters (65.5 feet) in height. Internally, the Qatar Pavilion will consist of two main galleries and exhibition spaces, providing highly engaging, inclusive and experiential environments for visitors.

Calatrava’s philosophy is grounded in the belief that each innovative design must emanate from its cultural context, conveying traditional sensibility through modern architecture to create truly inspiring structures. Once visitors enter the Qatar Pavilion, they are guided through an immersive experience whereby a deeply symbiotic relationship between the visual arts and the internal spaces engage, inspire and inform them about the past, present and future of Qatar.

Expedited Construction

Construction on the project is at an advanced stage and with the expedited schedule of five months, the Qatar Pavilion will reach completion in advance of Expo 2020’s anticipated opening on Oct. 1, 2021.

In collaboration with main contractor, ALEC FITOUT, and the project’s Engineer of Record, Aurecon, the Santiago Calatrava project team, led by Micael Calatrava, applied an integrated design and accelerated construction strategy for the Qatar Pavilion at Expo 2020. The approach follows a non-linear, non-traditional design methodology ensuring project delivery in a very aggressive timeline of five months.

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