Lava’s design for the German pavilion at the expo 2020 Dubai incorporates an airy construction with a free form roof, enclosing a vertical campus of nature and technology. taking cues from previous German expo pavilions, such as mies van der rohe’s Barcelona 1929, frei otto’s montreal 1967, and fritz bornemann’s spherical concert hall osaka 1970, the lightweight structure features a series of interlinked floating cubes for exhibition and events spaces.

Lava has developed the concept also in response to Dubai’s climate, referencing the local typology of the courtyard house with closed exterior facade and rooms oriented towards an inner airspace. the result is a composition of immersive exhibition experiences and enclosed air space that generates an intriguing exchange between interior and exterior spaces.

The opaque membrane of the roof keeps out the heat, controls light and temperature in the atrium, and reduces production energy from intelligent use of local climatic conditions to materials reuse, to construction, everything in the pavilion demonstrates LAVA’s philosophy of sustainability at multiple levels and establishes a strong visual symbol and example for visitors. the vertical structure comprises a landscaped layer on the two lower levels and the cloud roof, which is enveloped in an opaque, trapezoidal single-layer ETFE membrane. the metallic skin lets light rays into the interior through many small openings, similar to sunlight penetrating forest foliage, creating a continuously changing visitor experience.

The expo 2020 theme is ‘connecting minds, creating the future’ and it runs from 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021.

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