Architecture firms Selgascano and FRPO have been selected as finalists to design Spain’s National Pavilion for EXPO 2020 in Dubai. The winning proposal includes an inflatable canopy of nine yellow ETFE cylinders set within a steel framework. Reinterpreting the Spanish plaza, the design creates a new take on the public square. The pavilion was made to be ultralight as a more sustainable structure that could be easily removed and transported. Formed as a ‘breathing pavilion’, the design allows two inflatables to move up and down to respond to views, light and breeze.
As expo 2020 will be held during Dubai’s cooler months, selgascano and FRPO’s design takes advantage the lower temperatures with a generous amount of outdoor space.
The two cylinders at the front of the pavilion can move up and down, opening or closing the pavilion in response to climatic conditions and events beneath the dynamic canopy, a matrix of fans helps circulate air, while shade, ventilation, and micro-evaporation are used to ensure comfort. As with any other plaza, the idea of the square is linked to the presence of water, which is never wasted conceived as oases, three areas of native vegetation and moving water help temper the heat, while serving as sources of freshness, shade, and life. Meanwhile, a single-floor exhibition space joins other services beneath the pavilion’s elevated square.
Design team also suggests that the structure, particularly the inflatable deck, could be easily assembled in a second location, such as a fairground as more than 80 per cent of the material used will be certified recycled material, other elements could be recycled or reused independently.