Visitors of Luxembourg's pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai will be able to zip down a giant slide that will deliver them into a green zone filled with trees and woody fragrances that evoke the forests of the European country.
One of the world’s smallest countries was the first to officially confirm participation in the world fair in Dubai and the planners of the Luxembourg pavilion have been sure to build-in fun and educational elements to engage visitors.
After viewing the country’s exhibition offerings, visitors have a choice of taking the stairs or descending, from a height of 21 metres, into the pavilion’s central atrium in a transparent metal and plastic-acrylic slide.
“In no other pavilion you will find a slide. We wanted the whole form to be an experience,” said Maggy Nagel, commissioner general of Luxembourg at Expo 2020 Dubai, during a visit to the UAE this week.
“We will diffuse the smell of nature and Luxembourg’s forest throughout the pavilion. At the end when you slide and come down to earth, you will see how green our country is.”
The slide is also a nod to the popular Schueberfouer, a traditional fair that dates back to 1340. With close to 200 rides, it that attracts two million visitors to the country.
Keen to shake off its primary tag as of the world’s leading tax havens, the country will present green initiatives, sustainable projects, space exploration ambitions and culinary expertise in its $32 million offering.
“We want people to experience the openness, opportunity and dynamism of Luxembourg,” Ms Nagel said.
“Finance is one of the themes in the pavilion but we also want to tell the story of Luxembourg and where we now aim to go.”
Visitors will be encouraged to explore mathematical concepts through the design of the outer structure that resembles a twisted cylinder.
The curved steel structure covered with a fibreglass membrane shape is based on the Mobius strip or a one-sided surface with no boundaries that looks like an infinite loop.
The Mobius ribbon was discovered by a German mathematician in 1858 and has since fascinated artists and engineers with the concept of a one-sided object.
The design also alludes to a circular economy with plans to reuse the steel used in the construction after the expo ends.
Spanning over 50 metres, the pavilion will accommodate about 500 people at once.
Ms Nagel said there was growing interest in the country about the expo with 4,000 people already confirming their participation with travel groups.
Young people are a focus with 30 young chefs from the Luxembourg Hotel and Tourism School who will be in Dubai through the six-month fair.
They are currently being trained in Luxembourg and engaged in preparing special recipes that will be served at the pavilion's Schengen Lounge.
A time-lapse camera installed on site refreshes images every 30 minutes. Those curious about the construction can follow the work at: luxembourgexpo2020dubai.lu/construction-progress