The Colombian pavilion at Expo Dubai 2020: a fusion of geography, city and culture
The Colombian pavilion at Expo Dubai 2020 is considered an artifact capable of telling the past, present and future stories of the country’s culture through its music. Relying on the support of its geography but also of its cities, the pavilion designed by Pacheco Estudio de Arquitectura alternates dense vegetation with water, representing the great biodiversity of its plant and animal world, and consists of a three-dimensional reticular structure symbolizing the constantly growing city centers.
Offering a journey from the vegetal and aquatic soil to the open sky, the artefact is quickly identifiable from a distance and seeks to remain in the memory of those who visit it as a fresh and open space which reveals itself to all and is in full growth.
As its authors explain, Colombia turns out to be one of the many countries that are urbanizing, being the second country with the greatest biodiversity in the world and being part of the group of the 12 most mega-diverse nations. The truth is that the latest census indicates that 74% of the population lives in urban areas, so the city, as the fundamental invention of humanity, is presented as a natural environment with great opportunities for growth.
One of Colombia’s major themes is its integration into urban environments. The reticular structure of the pavilion proposes to recall the geometry of the blocks from which their populations were founded. The base of plant species and the water mirrors that recall rivers and seas, constitute this geographical space where their cities are based.
Being a multiracial and multicultural country, Pacheco Estudio de Arquitectura agreed that the best way to express it was through music. The fundamental expressive theme of the pavilion is culture, therefore people of all ages and walks of life perform multiple formal and informal interactive musical expressions.
Thus, the image of the building’s architecture at Expo Dubai 2020 is made of the fusion of this three-dimensional white urban checkerboard under construction and permanent transformation with the plant and aquatic base that emerges from it, recalling the great biodiversity that the country possesses. . The checkerboard and the geography represent the basis of the cultural expressions that are exhibited through the music.
When the checkerboard, the vegetation and the water interact, a labyrinthine spatiality is produced which surprises its visitors. It is made up of four sectors: the checkerboard of the shadows, that of the boxes, that of the void and that of the services. Acting as a kind of toy for those who visit it, it is traversed on four vertical floors, starting from the first level where the most public activities are located, up to the remaining levels where free musical interactions and boxes of presentation controlled. The course around the checkerboard of the void makes the integration of the pavilion favoring the meeting between visitors and leaving them a gift of a Colombian musical experience.
The pavilion is divided into four horizontal sections (hammocks, canvases and shows, boxes, interactions and services) and four vertical sections that correspond to each floor.
In order to realize it within the given time frame and to meet the spatial requirements, a five-stage construction sequence was proposed. The ground of the land consists of a 3×3 grid which orders it and on this one, the vegetation is located next to the water mirrors. Then, the checkerboard structure is installed, built in prefabricated metal profiles and welded on site, shaping not only the structure but also the spatiality of the pavilion.
On this structure are laid white sanded glass floors which define the circulations and places of interaction, and opaque Steel-deck floors for the boxes and services. Railings are added to the structure, executed in metal profiles and mesh, and black boxes and services are built in plasterboard, plating them in a mirror to make them disappear.
By crossing the vegetation, you reach the pavilion which will have a temperature in the comfort zone at all times. Like the white of its metal structure, the base of vegetation and water brings freshness thanks to the shade they provide and the use of sprinklers at all levels. In turn, the checkerboard is considered an effective shade and airflow artifact.
Via brief sent by Pacheco Estudio de Arquitectura