Work begins on Masdar City area for UAE pavilion

GMT 10:36 2015 Saturday ,15 August

Arab Today, arab today Work begins on Masdar City area for UAE pavilion

Masdar City area
Abu Dhabi - Arab Today

A plot of land is being readied in Masdar City to house the UAE Pavilion when it moves from Milan Expo 2015 after the world fair ends in November.

The sand dune-inspired structure will be used as Masdar's visitor centre to showcase sustainability projects.

Dr Nawal Al Hosany, Masdar's director of sustainability, said: "We are already working on the infrastructure of the plot that has been assigned for the pavilion in Masdar City.

"Once the Expo finishes we will start the dismantling, packing of the pavilion and reconstruction here.”

Elements about the survival of the UAE's people will be retained.

"This will become Masdar's visitor centre to show the world the experiences, lessons learnt, projects and initiatives we have been working on. It will be a sustainability hub to showcase what we have done as a nation, our different plans and initiatives,” said Dr Al Hosany.

There are also plans for a cafe and retail units.

From the drawing board and design stages, the pavilion set up in Milan was always intended to move to the nation's capital.

Masdar's input also helped address the Milan Expo theme, Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.

Led by Dr Al Hosany, the Masdar team put sustainability at the heart of the structure.

"The decision was never an afterthought, the architects and contractors were briefed about it from very early days of planning,” she said.

"It is not easy to create a pavilion with only a temporary function into a permanent building, so that is why there is a lot of innovation.

"It was very challenging. But the leadership in the UAE took the decision not to contribute to building something that will go to waste in a few months. Instead, we have created a beautiful, successful pavilion that has a full life cycle.”

Glazed façades on the panels used in the pavilion are suitable for conditions in Italy and the UAE. The walls and panels are made of glass-reinforced concrete that work well in a city and in a dusty desert environment.

"The materials and colours work in harmony with the climate, as well as reducing maintenance demands,” said Gerard Evenden, senior executive partner at Foster + Partners, the lead architect for the project.

"The design challenge has always been to make the pavilion flexible, so that the key elements could be assembled rapidly and with dry construction – mechanical fixings such as hooks and bolts – so it can be disassembled and re-installed in the UAE.

"The use of the high walls provides a shaded route in both climates, while internally, the design provides a range of column-free spaces that can be repurposed as necessary to meet a variety of future uses. The height of the walls offers protection from the sun via self-shading in both Milan and the UAE.”
Source: The National

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