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UAE Pavilion at EXPO 2015 in Milan


The pavilion of the United Arab Emirates is unanimously considered one of the most beautiful of the EXPO 2015 in Milan. It reveals its details gradually as visitors are taken on a guided tour.

The pavilion was designed by one of the most famous studios in the world, Foster + Partners, who were inspired by the landscape and the traditional architecture of the Emirates.  At the end of the Expo, it will be dismantled and rebuilt in Masdar, in the United Arab Emirates, adding to the sustainability of the project. In addition, the construction aims to achieve LEED Platinum certification through a combination of active and passive technologies, collecting rainwater from the garden over the roof and the integration of photovoltaic cells.

The first architectural element encountered by visitors is the 12m high corrugated walls, the surface of which reproduces the subtle ripples that form on the sand dunes under the action of the wind. The walls are close together, almost forming a canyon, evoking alleyways of historic desert towns. Only by following them you can get to the spectacular multimedia auditorium that is at the heart of the pavilion.

The auditorium has a cylindrical shape 15m high and is surrounded by walls that 'hide' views from outside (one can see the top part of it only from allyways running along the pavilion) and it is covered with shingles of golden copper alloy; in detail, their dimensions are of 52x52cm, paired with each other with an inclination of 45° to cover an area of ​​about 1,000m2. Inside the auditorium there is a screen at 180° and a theatrical interactive space, where visitors can discover the transformation of the country over recent decades - from the desert to the skyscrapers - and the problems of themes related to water, energy, food and resources, and solutions developed to meet these challenges.

The copper alloy cladding continues in an interior room on the ground floor, and forms a curved wall; here is where the Emirates have their view of the future, with a spectacular scale model of Dubai, home of the next World Exhibition of 2020.

The golden-coloured copper-aluminum alloy serves as the backdrop for the traditional elements of the desert landscape (palm trees and dunes), retaining its golden brilliance; while it also accompanies the side of 'new' Emirates, suggesting to the visitor an idea of ​​modernity and of a country that deserves to be visited.



National Media Council
Completion date: 
Rho - Milano


Type of building: 
Public square, park
Copper used: 
Golden alloy


Name, office: 
Foster + Partners
Address & description: 
Foster + Partners Riverside 22 Hester Road London, SW11 4AN United Kingdom

Copper contractors

Fornitore della lega di rame: KME

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