Visitors at the Bahrain Pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai. (Photo by David Jimenez/Expo 2020 Dubai)

Expo 2020 is a host to some of the most exciting country pavilions marked by unique and stellar architecture representing each nation’s legacy and vision of the future.

Architect: Christian Kerez
Location: Opportunity District
Inspiration: Traditional Bahraini architecture featuring geometric gypsum ornaments inspired by the traditional craft of weaving.
Structure: 126 columns with a diameter of 11cm and 24m in height that randomly intersect throughout the height of the space.
Material: Steel columns and aluminum outer façade.

Bahrain Pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai. (Photo by Steve Holland/Expo 2020 Dubai)
Bahrain Pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai. (Photo by Steve Holland/Expo 2020 Dubai)

The pavilion is conceived as a physical and spatial experience of density and the future possibilities of building in an increasingly dense world. Designed by Christian Kerez Zürich AG, it is imagined as an open plan space, submerged in the site and accessed through a ramp that creates a transition between the outer and inner worlds of the pavilion. The structure of this central space is made of 126 columns of 11cm in diameter and 24m in height that join each other at several points throughout the height of the space. The columns support one another and support the roof, providing a poetic structure that demonstrates principles of connection and density in an exploration of the three-dimensional possibilities inspired by geometric gypsum ornaments of traditional Bahraini architecture.

Visitor at the Bahrain Pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai. (Photo by Suneesh Sudhakaran/Expo 2020 Dubai)
Visitor at the Bahrain Pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai. (Photo by Suneesh Sudhakaran/Expo 2020 Dubai)

This central space houses the main exhibition space, the gift shop and the cafe that are loosely nestled between the columns of the building, shaping the physical experience of density in the pavilion. The visitor experiences the space as one would walking through a dense forest where the exhibition and program of the pavilion cohabit openly with the architecture of the space. The columns are made of steel, whereas the outer facade is composed of aluminum, showcasing one of Bahrain’s largest exports. At the end of the 6 months, the pavilion will be fully dismantled and rebuild permanently in Bahrain.

Visitors at the Bahrain Pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai. (Photo by David Jimenez/Expo 2020 Dubai)
Visitors at the Bahrain Pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai. (Photo by David Jimenez/Expo 2020 Dubai)

A VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE APPEARED IN PRINT IN SELECTIONS #57

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