ministry of economy
national pavilion expo 2020
3500 sqm

Between the architectural spectacle and the “démonstrations de force” exhibited by various nations, a small country should rather adopt an enlightened attitude of communicating its aspired values through a spatial experience and possible uses for the visitors.


Dubai2020 noshow engages the challenge posed by world expos: a globalized cultural moment between national exhibitionism and travesty, by not building a temporary monument.


A gently sloping public space rises from the main street layout of the expo masterplan. It enables the visitor to emancipate from the crowded circus and the expressive constructions.


4 patios, of different depths, give access to the underground. A technique of stabilized sand is used to build a massive structure, sunken underground. No insulation, no reinforcement, no engineered complexity. The clear and frank constructive method expresses an honest, spatial experience.


The space and visitor experience thus becomes the exhibit. Merely a collection of photographs, in the vein of Edward Steichen’s “the family of man” trace the history and diversity of the country.


The main focus though will be the cutouts of the roofscape drawn by the patios: they frame the sky and the stars; the elements all humanity shares.