Interior of the India Pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai. (Photo by Suneesh SudhakaranExpo 2020 Dubai)
View Gallery 31 Photos

Discover some exquisite architecture of some of the national pavilions at EXPO 2020 Dubai. This week, we discover India’s massive 4-floor pavilion that is considered one of the largest pavilions at the Expo 2020 Dubai and explore the spatial implementation of the Swiss pavilion that is a reference to temporary Bedouin tent buildings. The design principles behind Singapore pavilion are urban strategies used in Singapore at the city scale while the Egypt Pavilion portrays different periods of ancient Egyptian civilisation.

India Pavilion

The facade of the India Pavilion symbolises ‘India on the move’.
Made up of 600 individual blocks, the facade uses kinetic architecture – a mosaic of rotating panels that showcase 75 stories about the history, and literature of the country over 26 weeks. During the day, the facade creates different moving patterns to celebrate 75 years of India’s Independence. Every week, these patterns take the shape of three stories of the 25 sub-themes. At evening the facade turns into a vibrant show with sound, light and projections.

Exterior of the India Pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai. (Photo by Suneesh SudhakaranExpo 2020 Dubai)
Exterior of the India Pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai. (Photo by Suneesh SudhakaranExpo 2020 Dubai)

Singapore Pavilion

Many of the design principles behind the pavilion are urban strategies used in Singapore at the city scale. The Singapore Story introduces some of these key ideas, including the careful use of water, and power, the creation of common spaces and urban connections, and innovations in vertical gardens and waste management.

Ground Garden
The pavilion offers shelter and shade, but it is not enclosed. Instead of walls, native trees and plants suited to withstand local weather line the perimeter of our site, forming a green belt that buffers the harsh conditions outside. Together with the rest of the pavilion’s extensive planting, the green buffer creates a microclimate—an oasis that is pleasant for people and comfortable for plants.

City Cone
The cone is equipped as a panoramic, 360 degree-display. Playing in the City Cone is a two-part video by award-winning Singaporean visual artist and filmmaker Brian Gothong Tan. The story follows the rise of cities and the challenges faced by the natural world, before taking us to present-day Singapore, a ‘City in Nature’. Animated matte paintings, drone footage, and layers of videos compose a seamless panoramic film—a spectacle mapped onto the unique, sloped interior wall of the City Cone.

Canopy Walk
Dry Mist Fans. A set of 51 dry mist fans is located along walkways to provide targeted cooling for visitors. These fans pass air and water through tiny nozzles under high pressure, turning them into ultra-fine, cooling droplets—a pleasant, vapour-like ‘dry mist’ that is unlike the ‘wet spray’ typical of common mist fans. Dry misted air feels 6-10°C cooler.

Vertical Green
The three plant-laden cones, each reaching 9 metres in height, increase the pavilion’s green area dramatically. They bring a host of environmental and health benefits too. With them, the air in the pavilion is fresher, the building is cooler, and people get a lift in mood and wellness by being surrounded by nature.

Hanging Garden
A hanging garden, composed of thousands of potted plants housed on a trellis, adds another layer of green to the pavilion. Multi-layered greenery was achieved even in the deeper, low-light parts of the pavilion thanks to two design innovations: sun pipes that capture, and through refraction, send a soft shower of sunshine down to them daily, and ‘grow lights’ that deliver a supplementary, calibrated boost at night.

Rainforest Cone
The Rainforest Cone recreates the atmosphere of a thickly-foliaged jungle. On a gentle spiral ascent, walk along green walls abound with plants hailing from the equatorial rainforest.

Creating a Habitat
The sheer abundance and density of plants in this cone naturally creates a cool microclimate. A fog system and a ground pond keep the cone humid, making a habitat that forest ferns thrive in.

Dipterocarp Sculpture
The centrepiece of the Rainforest Cone is a kinetic sculpture inspired by the Dipterocarp tree, the giant of the Southeast Asian rainforest. The mesmerising piece mimics the tree’s two-winged fruit spinning down from the forest canopy during the fruiting season in the tropics.

Flower Cone
In this dark room, orchids bloom in exuberance. Get up close to a myriad of orchids in this theatre that is part floral gallery, part botanist’s laboratory.

Innovative Blooms
Singapore’s pioneering work on orchid hybridisation and conservation has produced some iconic cultivars and saved many species from the brink of extinction.
Find some of these flowers, including the Aranda Lee Kuan Yew, a hybrid created in tribute to Singapore’s founding father, and the Cymbidium finlaysonianum, once critically endangered, blossoming in the flower cone. Even more spectacular in the dark gallery, these orchids celebrate creation, innovation, and our co-evolution with nature.

Orchid Diplomacy
Singapore honours visiting dignitaries by breeding and naming orchid hybrids after them. With ‘Orchid Diplomacy’, Singapore has cultivated as many wonderful friendships as floral hybrids.
Unique cultivars include Dendrobium Margaret Thatcher, named after Margaret Thatcher when she visited the Singapore and its Botanic Gardens in 1985, and Dendrobium Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, after Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Mother of the Nation of the United Arab Emirates in 2017.

Singapore Pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai. (Photo by Suneesh SudhakaranExpo 2020 Dubai)
Singapore Pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai. (Photo by Suneesh SudhakaranExpo 2020 Dubai)

Egypt Pavilion

The Egypt Pavilion is built on four levels and a total height of 19m. It consists of a steel structure and a compound of GRC finished along with the Hieroglyphic letters in additional Glass facade and dynamic light to give the effect of the ancient Pharaoh civilisation.

Egypt Pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai. (Photo by Mahmoud KhaledExpo 2020 Dubai)
Egypt Pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai. (Photo by Mahmoud KhaledExpo 2020 Dubai)

Switzerland Pavilion

The Swiss Pavilion presents itself with an iconic cubic temporary structure. The spatial implementation of the pavilion is a reference to temporary Bedouin tent buildings. The tent stands on an old wadi, a dried up river in the desert. It is surrounded by a green framework of date palms up to 9m high. The body of the building combines tradition and innovation, sketches relationships between East and West and creates a unique presence: the funnel-shaped mirrored front of the pavilion serves both as a spectacular eye-catcher and as a reflection surface. Based on the concept of a journey, visitors will experience surprising facets of Switzerland by walking through the pavilion. The pavilion revolves around reflecting Switzerland’s culture, natural beauty and innovations. The journey ends with an interpretation of Arab landscapes in the Wadi, with alluvial hills and individual vegetation groups. A special feature of this wadi landscape are the seating elements made of recycled concrete. Inspired by the Majilis seating culture, they create a place to stay and cultivate hospitality.

Switzerland Pavilion , Expo 2020 Dubai. (Photo by Suneesh SudhakaranExpo 2020 Dubai)
Switzerland Pavilion , Expo 2020 Dubai. (Photo by Suneesh SudhakaranExpo 2020 Dubai)

The info is extracted from the press releases.



SELECTIONS is a platform for the arts, focusing on the Arab World.

Selections editorial presents a quarterly print magazine and weekly online publication with high quality content on all subjects related to Art and Culture. Full of world-leading artworks, exquisite brand imagery, original creative illustrations and insightful written articles.
Selections Viewing Rooms presents carefully curated online art shows aiming not only to shed light on contemporary art executed by living artists, but also for viewers to buy contemporary fine art, prints & multiples, photography, street art and collectibles.
Discover the previous and current shows here.
Cultural Narratives foundation is an extensive collection that is travelling the world by leading established and emerging talents aiming to reflect the culture of the region in their works.

Moataz Nasr, Barzakh, 2021. Wood and metal, 14 m x 4 m. Credit Pixcelle Photography Studios


Forever Is Now is a contemporary art exhibition that brings…

Layla Al Attar(Iraq, 1940-1993). Untitled, detail, 1991. Oil on canvas, 66 x 78.5 cm. From the private collection of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum


The first physical exhibition of The Dubai Collection features a…

A letter from Georges Henein to Ramses published in Letters from the Past Issue


Ranging from declarations of love and outpourings of grief to…

Sama Alshaibi, Ma Lam Tabki (Unless weeping) from Silsila series, 166 × 250 cm, diasec print, 2014


Selections talks to six talented female photographers from the Arab…

Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi Photo Seeing Things


Louvre Abu Dhabi‘s new annual contemporary art exhibition, Louvre Abu…

Intermission, exhibition view at Le Lab


Le Lab, a contemporary and collectible design gallery founded by…

december 2021


18sep10:0618dec10:06VANTAGE POINT SHARJAH 9