The design is inspired by a falcon in flight and the pavilion will be used to represent the UAE to the 25 million visitors and participants from over 180 nations who are expected to visit the Expo from October 2020 to April 2021.
Calatrava’s proposal was selected by the National Media Council following a seven-month design competition managed by Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, in its capacity as program manager.
The contest saw nine architectural firms submit 11 concepts. Each design was evaluated against specific criteria, including how fully the design expressed the main theme of Expo 2020 Connecting Minds, Creating the Future and how well it 'captured a distinct Emirati feel and a balance between the UAE’s past and future'.
Minister of state and National Media Council chairman Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber said: “The proposed design of the UAE Pavilion captures the story we want to tell the world about our nation. Our late founding father His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan used falconry expeditions to forge connections between tribes and to create a distinct national identity which ultimately led to the founding of the United Arab Emirates. Now, the falcon design will symbolise how we are connecting the UAE to the minds of the world and how as a global community we can soar to new heights through partnership and cooperation.”
The pavilion is expected to cover up to 15,000m2 and will include numerous exhibition areas, an auditorium, food and beverage outlets and VIP lounges. It will be designed to meet LEED Platinum sustainable building standards.