Mission Possible, Expo 2020 Dubai’s Opportunity Pavilion, designed by AGi Architects, provides a platform for social interaction and diverse networking. AGi Architects is a global design firm based in Kuwait and Madrid. AGi’s mission is to design spaces that provide clients with long-term value through unique and innovative solutions.

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This year’s expo includes three key themes: opportunity, sustainability, and mobility, all of which focus on how we may “unleash the potential of individuals and communities, emphasizing that we all have a role to play in bringing about positive change.” Since the feature has crossed generations, countries, and eras, it resembles a large public square with a global architectural character. 

The design is based on the plaza’s long urban history spanning millennia, from Roman times to today. Whether it’s a piazza, fair, or town square, the plaza is a ubiquitous concept and lends itself to different cultures. Because the pavilion intends to be a social and cross-cultural dialogue stage, this global urban language is crucial.

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Location: Expo Rd, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Area: 161458.66 Square feet.  

Opportunity Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai designed by AGi Architects - Sheet1
The Opportunity Pavilion_© Expo 2020 Dubai

Design

The pavilion’s canopy, which rises 32 meters above the ground, symbolizes clouds and the goals that we all strive for. The exquisite clouds comprise six layers of cloth on metal columns that shield the plaza from direct sunlight. Layers are created by overlapping the colorful parts, which play with transparency, light, shadows, and color. The way people perceive clouds in space and changes in light and shade at different times of the day cause them to vary constantly.

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Opportunity Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai designed by AGi Architects - Sheet2
The Opportunity Pavilion_© Expo 2020 Dubai

The ground and the pavilion’s exterior are covered with a terracotta ‘carpet,’ which is the first time this ceramic material has been used in this way in the UAE. This creates a backdrop that softens the effect of the structures while focusing attention on the pavilion’s public spaces and how people interact with them. Human activity takes place on the carpet, which is the Earth (ground). The site is intended for visitors to appropriate it, share their experiences, and create a community of wisdom and mutual respect.

The pavilion’s plaza is organized on two levels to connect the terrain’s slope, creating a basin where visitors are conceptually placed in-between the clouds above and the Earth below, providing a unique, creative area for socializing and cultural exchange.

Opportunity Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai designed by AGi Architects - Sheet3
Staircase_© Agi Architects

Visitors ascend from the ground floor to the pavilion’s main level, consisting of a long, narrow building and two smaller structures arranged around a central square.

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Façade 

Flexbrick, an industrial design firm, covered the pavilion’s facade in a unique ceramic cloth with a dispersion of lit-up pieces that glitter after dark.

Sustainable Development Goals 

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The Opportunity Pavilion hosts Expo 2020’s Global Best Practice Programme, highlighting simple but effective initiatives that can be tailored, recreated, or scaled for increased global impact and are linked to the Sustainable Development Goals, under the theme Small Steps, Big Leaps: Solutions for Sustainable Impact.

The Global Best Practice Programme is an essential aspect of Expo 2020’s commitment to promoting huge improvement via cooperation and information exchange. It emphasizes the importance of bringing together creative minds to impact people and the planet throughout the world positively.

The main exhibition of the Opportunity Pavilion and the Program both convey the same message: through our collaborative efforts, we can make the world a better place. The pavilion’s Best Practice Area serves as a showcase for the 50 projects that the Programme has supported since its inception in 2019 – highlighting individuals who have become change-makers and have helped build a brighter world by enabling the untapped potential of their communities across the globe.

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The Opportunity Pavilion_© Expo 2020 Dubai

Three specialized guides lead an interactive display with routes covering ongoing water, food, and energy challenges.

After a year’s delay due to the worldwide pandemic, Expo 2020 Dubai will take place from October 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022, under stringent Covid rules. Along with AGi Architects’ Opportunity Pavilion, there are two other thematic districts: Grimshaw’s Sustainability Pavilion “Terra” and Foster + Partners‘ Mobility Pavilion “Alif.” 

Citation

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AGi Architects. (n.d.). Mission Possible Opportunity Pavilion. [online] Available at: https://www.agi-architects.com/work/mission-possible-opportunity-pavilion/ [Accessed 9 Oct. 2021].

Dezeen. (2021). AGi Architects arranges Dubai Expo Opportunity Pavilion around covered plaza. [online] Available at: https://www.dezeen.com/2021/10/08/agi-architects-dubai-expo-opportunity-pavilion/ [Accessed 10 Oct. 2021].

Dima Stouhi. “AGi Architects Designs Opportunity Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai” 30 Sep 2021. ArchDaily. Accessed 9 Oct 2021. <https://www.archdaily.com/969382/agi-architects-designs-opportunity-pavilion-at-expo-2020-dubai> ISSN 0719-8884

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EXPO 2020 DUBAI MISSION POSSIBLE -THE OPPORTUNITY PAVILION FACT SHEET. (n.d.). [online] Available at: https://www.un.org/sites/un2.un.org/files/210924_opportunity_pavilion_factsheet_en_final.pdf [Accessed 10 Oct. 2021].

kuwaittimes (2021). Opportunity Pavilion, place for people to interconnect and create positive change. [online] Kuwait Times. Available at: https://news.kuwaittimes.net/website/opportunity-pavilion-place-for-people-to-interconnect-and-create-positive-change/ [Accessed 9 Oct. 2021].

www.metalocus.es. (n.d.). Opportunity and impact. Mission Possible – The Opportunity Pavilion by AGi architects | The Strength of Architecture | From 1998. [online] Available at: https://www.metalocus.es/en/news/opportunity-and-impact-mission-possible-opportunity-pavilion-agi-architects [Accessed 9 Oct. 2021].

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Author

Abhiri is an Architecture Professional and Sustainable Designer with a penchant for writing, illustrating and traveling. She is interested in educating and raising awareness about Sustainable practices and strives to be a steward of nature in her designs and daily actions. Coffee, books, watercolors,and a walk in the woods are some of the things that keep her going.

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