Expo 2020 Dubai: Russia's matryoshka doll pavilion design set to be a star attraction

Organisers plan festivals of music and ballet alongside business events at World Fair

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The eye-catching Russian pavilion, with multicoloured metallic lights wrapped closely around the structure, will make it one of the stand-out structures at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Vibrant shades on the aluminium and steel tubes will change colour by day and night and organisers hope the unusual architecture will draw visitors to explore the three-storey unit.

Architect Sergei Tchoban said the silhouette will transform at night when LED lights are trained on it.

It’s like you are inside a toy matryoshka – a traditional Russian stacking doll
Sergei Tchoban

In the the daytime, the sunshine will reflect on the tubes and constantly alter the pavilion’s contours.

“People will see a structure that moves. It’s like a road around you – darker lines will make the silhouette slimmer and lighter lines will make the silhouette wider. It will seem movable," he said.

“The metal lines have different colours, so with your imagination the montage will look different.”

Echoing the concept of the famous Russian matryoshka wooden stacking dolls, the interior design is modelled on a similar concept, with a small entrance leading to a much wider space within.

Mr Tchoban said he built on the traditional theme where one form is placed inside the other. Visitors will enter a seven-metre space and then move into an area that expands to more than double the space.

“Outside you will not realise how deep is the space inside,” he said. “It’s like you are inside a toy matryoshka.”

Architect Sergei Tchoban explains how the striking architecture will allow colours to bounce off the Russian pavilion. Russian pavilion Expo 2020

The pavilion also aims to convey Russia's strength in diversity.

“The idea is to show how in Russia there are many nationalities, religions, groups living, working together and looking to the future," he said.

“Dubai is also such a place, where many nationalities live successfully together.”

Located in the Expo’s Mobility District – one of three theme zones – the pavilion attempts to convey a sense of movement and agility.

“We would like to show speed in all areas of Russian development, in science, medicine and the speed of innovation,” Mr Tchoban said.

Russian officials said the pavilion will double as a platform for business discussions to forge new connections.

Alexey Gruzdev, Russia’s Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, during a visit in April spoke of the pavilion’s motto, Creative Mind: Driving the Future.

“We are working on a diverse programme of business and cultural events for Expo 2020 in Dubai, which will not only open the theme but will also give millions of visitors a chance to discover Russia’s latest achievements in manufacturing, science, technology and art,” he said.

Organisers released information about programmes planned over the six-month World Fair.

Victoria Lopyreva, a former Miss Russia, will host a matryoshka festival in October to introduce the public to Russian music, fashion and culture.

Recently appointed an ambassador of the Russian pavilion, Ms Lopyreva said the Expo is “a symbol of economic recovery and restoration of relations after the world’s lockdown”.

She described Expo as an opportunity for the business community to agree on new projects leading to more jobs and investments.

“I am happy to join the team of organisers of the Russian pavilion to draw the maximum attention to the success of our country, to show true Russia – bright, friendly and creative. It is important to imagine a new generation of professionals – brave and progressive,” she said in an Instagram post.

A children’s festival will feature the pavilion’s mascot, the Fixies, from a popular animated television series. The programme is about miniature people who mend machines and hopes to encourage children to develop a deeper interest in science and technology.

Russian ballerinas and principal dancers from Moscow’s famous Bolshoi Theatre will also perform during Expo.

The pavilion will host an amateur chess tournament to coincide with the World Chess Championship that is scheduled to take place in November at Expo, to get chess lovers and the larger community involved.

Expo 2020 was postponed by a year because of the Covid-19 pandemic but was allowed to keep the name.

About 25 million visits are expected for the Expo, which will be held in the Dubai South district.

Updated: August 02, 2021, 6:29 AM