☑ YES, I would like a FREE subscription to access EXHIBITOR magazine articles online.
Qatar Pavilion Client: Qatar Pavilion Organizing Committee Design: Cityneon Middle East LLC Fabrication: Cityneon Middle East LLC
PHOTOs: Cityneon Middle East LLC
Expo 2015 Awards: People's Choice
Crowned with a representation of a giant jefeer, a traditional food basket woven from palm leafs, the Qatar Pavilion celebrates the country's heritage while welcoming its future.
In the first hall, an interactive table illustrates the country's gastronomic history, from traditional dishes to the complex role that coffee plays in Qatari food culture. Following this, the works of the Qatar National Food Security Program are displayed in exhibits touting hydroponic systems, desalination projects, and construction of a new port hub and transport system to optimize food distribution in a desert climate. Capturing guests' imagination in one of the displays is the Filaha project, a cultural initiative through which the government publishes ancient texts on traditional Qatari cultivation methods online to see how they may be applicable today.
On the upper floor, attendees find themselves in the center of the giant jefeer basket, dominated in the middle by a fabric screen shaped to evoke a palm tree. While attendees make their way down a spiral ramp encircling the screen, they view a video presentation of Qatar's history.
The pavilion appealed to attendees and Exhibitor Online visitors alike, accumulating the most votes at ExhibitorOnline.com. More than 100,000 visitors selected their favorite pavilion, ultimately crowning Qatar as the 2015 People's Choice Award winner.
United Arab Emirates Pavilion
United Arab Emirates Pavilion Client: The National Media Council, United Arab Emirates Design: Foster + Partners Fabrication: CanBuild Ltd.; Stahlbau Pichler srl; Tecton scrl
PHOTOS: Nigel Young; Foster + Partners
Transporting the arid architecture of the desert to urban Milan, the United Arab Emirates Pavilion begins with a long, sinewy entrance, possessing the take-your-breath-away quality of the opening to the lost city of Petra in Jordan. Visitors stroll past interactive installations, like jewelry showcases set on stylized streams of water, ending at a giant golden cask that seems more a gift of magi than a design of architects. In the circular Palm Cinema inside, the film, "Family Tree," follows Sara, a young girl who learns the vital role the date palm plays in sustaining life in the Emirates. Later, while the girl raps, faces of the audience – recorded when staffers coached them through the song while they waited to enter the theater – appear out of the empty air to join Sara. After Expo 2015 closes, the pavilion will be dismantled and reassembled in Masdar City, a sustainable habitat in Abu Dhabi fueled by solar power.
Kuwait Pavilion Client: Ministry of Information of the State of Kuwait Design: Studio Italo Rota; Steiner Sarnen Schweiz AG Fabrication: Nussli Group
photos: Nussli Group
Its exterior marked by gigantic sails referencing the dhow, a traditional wooden sailing vessel, the Kuwait Pavilion begins with that quaint image and extends it in something nearly quixotic: On the lateral part of the façade, for example, is a glass house displaying numerous hydroponic plants being cultivated inside. This combination of dhow sails and green plants foreshadows the pavilion's interior content reproducing the harsh Kuwaiti landscape, and telling the tale of how the Kuwaitis transformed their terrain of sand and rock into a fertile land. As convivial and quirky as its coffee culture, the pavilion includes an area of low ceilings and activities expressly made for children to romp in, while another section near the exit includes racks of aromatic spices, and an analog camel race with wooden dromedaries.