Expo 2020 Dubai: Austria's eco-friendly pavilion a striking symbol of sustainability

The Austrian pavilion will operate on 70 per cent less energy than a typical air-conditioned building in the Emirates

Austria will celebrate its history of innovation and its vision for a more sustainable future at Expo 2020 Dubai.

The country's striking pavilion, taking pride of place in the Opportunity District, is an ambitious architectural concept that aims to tackle key climate questions of our time.

Built from overturned cones using a 9,000-year-old soil called loam, containing silt and clay, it will provide ventilation and house workshops and installations.

The pavilion will operate on 70 per cent less energy than a conventionally air-conditioned building in the UAE and will keep visitors cool with fogging technology.

With its tag ‘Austria makes sense’, Beatrix Karl, commissioner general for the pavilion, said the structure combines ecology and technology to set a strong signal for climate protection.

“The sustainable, responsible use of resources has a long tradition in Austria,” she said.

“Expo 2020 Dubai will be the biggest event in the world this year and will thus provide a global podium for the key questions of our time.

“We want to use this forum to showcase prototypical future scenarios for climate and resource-efficient buildings of tomorrow.”

The pavilion, however, is not the only example of Austrian excellence on show at Expo.

Austrian companies have already left their mark at the sprawling site which will open to the public in October, after a year-long delay.

Vienna-based Unger Stahlbau, one of the most successful steel construction companies in the world, helped to construct the four imposing entrance gates where millions of visitors will step onto the Expo site.

Austrian artist, Thomas Medicus, has also built a glass sculpture that will be placed in the newly established underground station near the Expo main entrance.

In order to make a hidden Expo 2020 logo appears every 90 degrees when the artwork is rotated, he had to create almost 1000 hand-painted and hand-cut glass fragments that were spread over 100 blank glass strips.

While the Austria Pavilion will be home to a dozen of its home-grown companies, so too will the rest of the Expo 2020 Dubai site.

With its fogging technology, Raintime will protect the Austria and Singapore pavilions - and their visitors - from heat.

And three timber-frame companies, Rubner Holzbau, Stora Enso and Tilly have already pitched in to help construct eco-friendly wooden structures within the Expo grounds.

The Expo in Dubai, being held from October 20, 2021 to April 10, 2022, with the theme of Connecting Minds, Creating the Future, is the first world exhibition in an Arab country in the 170-year history of the event.

Published: May 10, 2021 10:56 AM

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