February 12, 2020

Finland tops out its sustainable Expo 2020 Dubai pavilion

This week sees the topping out of the Expo 2020 Finland Pavilion in Dubai called ‘Snow Cape’ and designed by JKMM Architects.

The Pavilion is located within Expo 2020 Dubai’s Mobility District and is built by Swiss construction specialist Expomobilia. Its sustainable snow inspired structure is one of the first of the Expo 2020 pavilions to be topped out.

Teemu Kurkela, founder and creative partner at JKMM Architects, explained the design concept of Snow Cape:

“In designing the pavilion, we sought to bring a fragment of Finnish nature to UAE and Dubai. In Finnish, it is named Lumi, which means snow. The pavilion was inspired by the thin white layer of first snow that covers the Finnish landscape in the beginning of every winter. The main entrance was inspired by a traditional Arabic tent. Two cultures meet in the architectural concept of the pavilion.The central gorge space is covered with curved wooden surfaces. Hopefully, this will the best space in Expo for meeting face to face.”

Finland was the first country to create a road map to a circular economy and it has stayed true to these principles in the design and construction of Snow Cape. Sustainability has been a guiding theme throughout the design and construction process. With the exception of a limited number of Finnish materials being imported, Snow Cape is being built almost entirely using material from the local market, thereby reducing the environmental burden caused by unnecessary logistics and transportation.

The simple design of Snow Cape minimises unnecessary additional claddings, enabling us to reduce the overall use of materials. 80-85 per cent of the materials used to build Snow Cape would be recycled and reused after Expo 2020 Dubai concludes in April 2021.

Severi Keinälä, Commissioner General of Finland at Expo 2020 Dubai, provided information about the pavilion:

“The main theme of Snow Cape and Finland’s participation in Expo 2020 Dubai is ‘Finland – Sharing Future Happiness’. Finnish happiness is based on the symbiosis of people, nature and technology. This deep connection is the origin of the quality of everyday Finnish life and the Finland pavilion communicates this happiness by taking visitors on a journey through Finland’s key strengths; nature and sustainability, education and know-how and functionality and wellbeing.

“We want visitors to Snow Cape to immerse themselves in our deep connection to nature and sustainability. The values of happiness, circular economy and innovations that are being showcased throughout the pavilion and exhibition design.”

Several Finnish companies have been actively involved in the construction of the Finnish pavilion. For example, the pavilion elevators will be provided by KONE and will be repurposed following the Expo. Halton Group will provide an air ventilation system inside the main exhibition.

Read more about the pavilion design here.

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