February 1, 2022 | Updated: February 2, 2022


Santiago Calatrava wows the crowds at Dubai Expo 2020 with Porcelanosa materials

The prestigious architect and winner of the European Architecture Award 2015 designed the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar pavilions using Krion® Lux 1100 K-Life.

Under the slogan "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future" Dubai Expo 2020 is the first international architecture exhibition with a focus on the buildings and urban trends set to shape the cities of the future.

Located in the south of Dubai and spanning 4 km, the event is divided into three districts (Sustainability District, Mobility District, and Opportunity District). Until 31 March, visitors will be able to take in the 192 majestic pavilions designed by the most prominent architects of our time. Examples include the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar pavilions, designed by prestigious Valencian architect and winner of the European Architecture Award 2015 Santiago Calatrava, using the Krion® Lux 1100 K-Life mineral compact.

A sustainable pavilion, with wings

The UAE's incredibly impressive building recreates a hawk (the UAE's emblem) in flight, and consists of a vast moving structure with a surface area of 15,000 square metres, reaching 27.8 metres high.

To achieve the spectacular unfolding of the wings, Calatrava placed 28 carbon fibre wings over the sloping roof, which fully open in less than three minutes. These, in turn, have a number of photovoltaic panels which provide solar energy to the entire pavilion. This is where design and sustainability come together, and the result is a futuristic, energy-efficient project that puts environmental protection and air quality first (LEED Platinum certification).

With four independent yet interconnected levels, the interior features a skylight which incorporates the Expo logo, from which a dome emerges, serving as a 200-capacity auditorium.

Designed with the Krion® Lux 1100 K-Life mineral compact, the pure white of the construction ushers in the natural light from the outdoors. Plus, the material's bacteriostatic composition, almost zero porosity and easy cleaning properties make for a safer, more hygienic space, promoting a healthier environment.

Krion® Lux has been used on the interior walls of the pavilion, in a 6901 Black Metal finish, creating a stunning contrast offset by the warm orange lighting around the seating area and central design of the building. The other rooms each cover a theme, including one with the history of the country and another with a lush garden with trees, swimming pools and more than 5,600 native plants.

See it in Projects Porcelanosa.

The Qatari coat of arms, in building form

Taking reference from the country's coat of arms, Qatar's extensive construction (960 m2) recreates the triangular sails of two dhows (a sailing vessel that appears on the national emblem), with a 15-metre column supported by several steel structures interwoven with aluminium.

Krion® Lux 1100 K-Life was used for the exterior walls. This solid surface is resistant to UV rays and the extreme Dubai temperatures, and promotes sustainability and hygiene in each zone thanks to its mineral composition and high-level technical performance. The design culminates inside, with two galleries and exhibition rooms dedicated to the country's past and the future, giving visitors the chance to immerse themselves intuitively in the history.

Read the full report in Porcelanosa Lifestyle magazine, and find out how the Santiago Calatrava pavilions came to life at the Dubai Expo 2020

See it in Projects Porcelanosa.

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