▼Terra可持续展馆鸟瞰，Aerial general view of the Sustainability Pavilion at Expo 2020 site © Dubai Expo 2020
Terra – The Sustainability Pavilion, opened to the public in 2021 as one of the top three attractions of the Expo 2020 Dubai, and aims to illuminate the ingenuity and possibility of architecture as society looks to intelligent strategies for future sustainable living. Drawing inspiration from complex natural processes like photosynthesis, the dynamic form of the Pavilion is in service to its function, capturing energy from sunlight and fresh water from humid air. The relationship of building to site, and to its physical and cultural contexts is critical, as the facility’s strength lies in its capacity to demonstrate a new way of living sustainably in a challenging desert environment.
▼剖面图，section © GRIMSHAW
Sited in a prominent location, the Pavilion structure works in tandem with the considered landscape of demonstration gardens, winding pathways and shaded enclaves to create an aura of magic punctuated by the sights, smells and tactile opportunities of nature. The gardens are both experiential and functional, setting the stage for the exhibition contents within and creating shaded gathering areas that will manage and distribute crowds while providing retail, food and beverage opportunities.
Overall view: an aura of magic © Dubai Expo 2020
When creating a building with a goal of generating its own energy and water in a harsh climate, the solution cannot be driven by a single aspect of the design. To achieve net-zero, the design required a series of technologies, building systems and design solutions to act in unison. This self-contained, micro-ecosystem resulted from a combination of strategies: optimizing the natural conditions inherent in its location; working with and within them to maximize efficiency; and supplementing them with pioneering sustainable technologies to create innovative solutions.
▼展馆日景，Daytime view © Phil Handforth
▼展馆夜景，Terra night view © Phil Handforth
▼轴测分解图，Terra – exploded axo © GRIMSHAW
The design is driven by maximizing efficiency which it does by seeking shade in the one place available: below the ground. The Pavilion uses the insulating properties of the earth to shield it from the harsh ambient temperatures which can soar to 50 degrees in the warmer months. Most of the accommodation is below grade and cased with an earth roof system, creating a substantial barrier to help reduce its cooling loads and conserve energy. The above ground surfaces are clad with a gabion rainscreen wall – sourced with local stone from the Hajar Mountains – which provides enough thermal mass to absorb the heat while the stone’s natural color reflects the sun.
▼Terra展馆和旁边的“能源树”，The pavilion and the E-Trees © Phil Handforth
▼地面以上的立面采用了石笼防水墙 © Phil Handforth
The above ground surfaces are clad with a gabion rainscreen wall
▼入口，Entrance © Phil Handforth
Flora and fauna sourced from the surrounding deserts – including some species that have been never been cultivated by humans – are arranged on the planted roofs and throughout the gardens, creating a water efficient landscape that functions through a series of closed loop systems designed to filter, supply and recycle water. The framing of these local topographical and floral features, combined with the technologies of water recycling and reuse, provide visitors a newfound appreciation of the unique region and its biodiversity. The site also includes areas for productive agricultural landscape featuring halophytic agriculture and other testing beds.
▼节水的花园景观，Water efficient landscape © Desert Ink
▼花园细节，Detailed view © Desert Ink
The culmination of the building’s systems can be found in the heart of the Pavilion, its large exterior courtyard. Borrowing from the vernacular of the region, the courtyard provides a large, passively cooled space for visitors. During the design, thermodynamic studies charting the prevailing breezes were used to shape the courtyard to allow desirable cool south-westerly breezes to enter while blocking warmer winds.
▼展馆顶棚鸟瞰，Aerial view to the Pavilion’s canopy © Dubai Expo 2020
Soaring over the courtyard, the Pavilion’s canopy accommodates more than 6,000 sqm of ultraefficient monocrystalline photovoltaic cells embedded in glass panels. The combination of the cell and the glass casing allow the building to harness solar energy while providing shade and daylighting to the visitors below. The experience in the courtyard is of being beneath a large shade tree with dappled light projecting onto the surfaces below.
▼中央庭院，The heart of the Pavilion © Phil Handforth
▼环形走廊，The circular corridor © Phil Handforth
The form of the canopy works with the courtyard to direct cool air in, while simultaneously exhausting low-lying hot air through a chimney effect at the centre. The canopy also serves as a large collection area for stormwater and dew that replenishes the building’s water system. The result is a structure that combines the most advanced technology in solar capture and a clear understanding of the natural conditions of the site to actively generate energy while passively cooling and enhancing the experience of the visitor.
▼顶棚可通过中央的烟囱效应将低处的热空气排出 © Phil Handforth
The form of the canopy can exhaust low-lying hot air through a chimney effect at the centre
▼顶棚的玻璃板中嵌入了超高效率单晶硅光伏电池 © Phil Handforth
Ultraefficient monocrystalline photovoltaic cells are embedded in glass panels
With over 6,000 sqm of exhibition space, the Sustainability Pavilion will enjoy a long life after Expo is over, transforming into a science museum and expanding on its mission of exploring sustainable practices and the critical stewardship of our fragile planet.
▼大厅，Lobby © Phil Handforth
▼公共区域，Public area © Phil Handforth
▼礼堂，Auditorium © Phil Handforth
▼展馆内部体验，Internal experience © Expo 2020 Dubai (left); Phil Handforth (right)
▼展览场景，Exhibitions © Phil Handforth
▼能源树分解示意，E-Trees diagram © Grimshaw Architects
The Sustainability Pavilion is complemented by an installation of Energy Trees which contribute toward its goal of producing its own energy. Nineteen E-trees ranging from 15-18m in diameter are dispersed throughout the site and provide 28% of the energy required to power the building. Inspired by the Dragon’s Blood, a tree found only on Socotra, an island 200 miles off the coast of Yemen, the E-Tree is designed to be a deployable freestanding shade structure that harvests the sun’s energy. The structure is constructed from steel and complex composites and has been optimized to support an 18m photovoltaic array.
▼能源树被设计为一种可展开的独立遮阳结构，The E-Tree is designed to be a deployable freestanding shade structure © Phil Handforth
Taking further cues from nature, the array follows the sun in the same manner as a sunflower, rotating 180 degrees throughout the course of the day to maximize the energy yield and increase the efficiency of the solar cells, before returning to its original position at night. Bespoke trapezoidal panels composed of highly efficient monocrystalline solar cells, embedded within three layers of glass, provide shade below without casting severe shadows or blocking views to the sky.
▼从花园望向能源树装置，View from the garden © Phil Handforth
Bespoke trapezoidal panels are embedded within three layers of glass © Phil Handforth
Supporting the array is an engineered carbon fibre structure inspired by the design of the steering wheel of a yacht. The structural design maximizes strength in its shape, with radial branches encircled by a compression ring while decreasing the load of the structure itself. Carbon fibre was chosen for its light weight which allows the form to extend unsupported for up to nine meters in all directions.
▼碳纤维支撑结构，Carbon fibre structure © Phil Handforth
The E-Trees have become an integral part of both the exhibition and the Pavilion site – showcasing and educating visitors on the research on solar harnessing and panel technology – while at the same time, serving as an integral part of the systems that contributes to a net zero energy goal of the building.
▼能源树夜景，E-Trees by night © Phil Handforth
▼整体鸟瞰，Aerial general view © Dubai Expo 2020
▼设计草图，Sketch © GRIMSHAW
▼场地平面图，Site plan © GRIMSHAW
▼首层平面图，Plan Ground Floor © GRIMSHAW
▼地下层平面图，Plan Basement © GRIMSHAW
▼东西剖面图，East-West Section © GRIMSHAW
▼南北剖面图，North-South Section © GRIMSHAW
Client: Emaar Properties & Expo 2020 Dubai
Location: Expo Road
Dubai South, Jebel Ali
P.O. Box 2020
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Completion date: January 2021
Gross square footage: 17,000 sqm
Project cost: confidential
Photography credit: Phil Handforth – Handforth Photography www.philhandforth.com
Buro Happold: engineering
Desert Ink: landscape architecture
Thinc Design: exhibition design
Eden Project: exhibition content
Rice Perry Ellis: local architect
Sherwood Design Engineers: civil engineering, water management
Cerami: AV, IT, acoustics, security
Tricon: food service
Orca: crowd flow
RWDI: climate analysis
Thinc Design: exhibition design
Eden Project: exhibition content
TAW Weiss: maintenance
Charcoal Blue: theatre design
Lord Cultural: operations
Friday Group: specifications