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Metaphorically bringing snow to the desert, this week sees the opening at Expo 2020 Dubai (rescheduled from last year) of JKMM Architects’ Finland Pavilion, which is inspired by Finnish nature, design and innovation. The building – known as ‘Snow Cape’ – has as its theme ‘Sharing Future Happiness’ and will highlight Finland’s commitment to sustainability and its deep connection with nature, as well as ensuring a memorable visitor experience.

▼芬兰馆概览,overall of the Finland Pavilion 2020 © Marc Goodwin

JKMM建筑事务所创始人兼创意合伙人Teemu Kurkela解释道:“在设计展馆时,我们试图将芬兰的自然元素引入阿联酋与迪拜。展馆的设计灵感来源于初冬时覆盖在芬兰大地上的一层薄薄的白色积雪。在芬兰语中,它被称为‘Lumi’,译为‘雪’。而主入口的灵感则来自传统的阿拉伯帐篷。两种文化在展馆的建筑理念中相遇,我们希望这里会成为整个世博会中最理想的面对面交谈场所。”

Teemu Kurkela, Founder and Creative Partner at JKMM Architects, explains: “In designing the pavilion, we sought to bring a fragment of Finnish nature to UAE and Dubai. The pavilion was inspired by the thin white layer of first snow that covers the Finnish landscape at the beginning of winter. In Finnish, it is called ‘Lumi’, which means snow. The main entrance was inspired by a traditional Arabic tent. Two cultures meet in the architectural concept of the pavilion. Hopefully, this will be the best space in Expo for meeting face-to-face.”

▼建筑外观,exterior appearance © Marc Goodwin


A visit to the pavilion will activate all human senses, both through the spatial design and the materials. The soft and light façade fabric will be in strong contrast to the hard granite floor tiles. Water in dark ‘lakes’ (shallow water pools) will create gentle sounds and cool the air around them. Overall, the experience will evoke Finland’s clean water and fresh air.

The two shallow pools in front of the building represent lakes © Stephane Aboudaram, We are content(s)




Finland was the first country to create a roadmap to a circular economy and JKMM have stayed true to these principles in the design and construction of Snow Cape. Sustainability was a guiding theme throughout the design and construction process. With the exception of a limited number of Finnish materials being imported, Snow Cape was built almost entirely using locally sourced material, thereby reducing the environmental burden caused by unnecessary logistics and transportation. Nor was dismantling an afterthought; it actively informed the pavilion’s design, including plans for the structure’s life after Expo.

▼分析图,diagram © JKMM Architects




The building interweaves several ideas. The pavilion is a fragment of Finnish Nature, symbolically bringing into the desert the snow, granite, forests, and water that characterise the country. Culture is celebrated by Snow Cape’s tentlike form, which makes reference to Finland’s own nomadic heritage. The structure’s exterior and interior are a nod to Finland’s long tradition of minimalist and modernist Design, which is informed by the building’s Function. Snow Cape is a place of Meeting at Expo, a calming and cool respite from the surrounding bustle. The pavilion is a metaphorical messenger from Finland, the ‘lab of Sustainability’.

The form of the entrance is intended to connect the snow cape and the tent © Marc Goodwin

▼入口外观细部,exterior detail of the entrance © Marc Goodwin

▼水池中的芬兰花岗岩瓷砖,Finnish granite tiles in the pool © Stephane Aboudaram, We are content(s)









▼入口内部概览,interior of the entrance area © Stephane Aboudaram, We are content(s)

curved slatted-wooden surfaces and water droplet-shaped oculus © Stephane Aboudaram, We are content(s)

details of the entrance and the path © Stephane Aboudaram, We are content(s) / Marc Goodwin

Five elements are woven together in the design of the pavilion:

1) Cool Breeze is the sail-like signage at the pavilion’s entrance. The satin-textured aluminium surface and organic shape work visually with nearby water elements to announce a focus on nature.

2) First Snow characterises the structure’s simple, but striking, appearance that simultaneously evokes a snow cape and the opening to a tent. The tensioned industrial fabric’s pure white colour minimises solar gain and offers shelter from the sun.

3) Wooden Heart is a central gorge-like space carved into the building and designed as a hub for face-to-face meetings. Sculptural in nature, it is defined by its curved slatted-wooden surfaces and water droplet-shaped oculus. The material’s gentle shaping and tactile quality continue the tradition of shaping wood found in iconic Finnish design classics and works of art.

4) Frozen Art, taking inspiration from the disk-shaped ice on Finland’s frozen lakes, is the name given to the Finnish granite tiles (low-carbon and 100 per cent recyclable) found inside the pavilion, as well as in and around the water features. Composed from a variety of specimens, Frozen Art is poignant reference to climate change-induced Nordic snow- and ice-melt.

5) Fresh Water is the name given to the pools in front of the pavilion. Representing two lakes (Finland has some 188,000), the water cools the air and reinforces the Finnish engagement with nature.

▼面对面会议中心,hub for face-to-face meetings © Stephane Aboudaram, We are content(s)

The soaring sense of space and the huge teardrop-shaped skylight © Stephane Aboudaram, We are content(s)

展馆内部简洁的设计在最大限度上减少了不必要的饰面包装,进而节约了整体建筑材料的使用。据Business Finland最近证实,该建筑将在原地继续使用5年,之后80% – 85%的建筑材料将被回收和再利用。

The simple design of the pavilion’s interiors (a pared-down shell) minimises unnecessary additional claddings, enabling JKMM to reduce the overall use of materials. Business Finland has recently confirmed that the structure will remain in situ for a further five years, after which 80–85 per cent of the materials used in its construction will be recycled and reused.

▼天窗细部,details of the skylight © Stephane Aboudaram, We are content(s)



“我们希望游客们能够沉浸在芬兰与自然以及可持续发展的深厚联系中。芬兰的幸福价值观、循环经济以及创新精神都在整个展馆和展览设计中得到了体现。”2020年迪拜世博会芬兰总代表Severi Keinälä说。

“We want visitors to Snow Cape to immerse themselves in our deep connection to nature and sustainability. The Finnish values of happiness, circular economy and innovations are being showcased throughout the pavilion and exhibition design.” says Severi Keinälä, Commissioner General of Finland at Expo 2020 Dubai.

▼展览空间概览,overall of the exhibition © Marc Goodwin

一条长达53米的电影屏幕环绕在芬兰馆的展览空间内,它为人们打开了一扇窥探芬兰人真实生活场景的窗户,游客们将跟随着主角女孩,一起体验在这个世界上最幸福的国家生活成长过程中发生的故事。通过天花板上的灯光装置、身临其境的音频设计以及精心策划的展览,游客们将完全沉浸在这个全景故事线中。展览设计由futuddesign、Sun Effects、Flatlight Creative House,以及JKMM Architects事务所合作完成,彰显出人类、原生自然以及科技之间的共生关系,并展示出这种共生关系如何为人类带来更多的幸福。

Looping around Snow Cape’s exhibition space, a 53-meter-long film display opens a window to see glimpses of life events of a girl growing up in the world’s happiest country. This full panoramic storyline is complimented by an immersive experience in forms of a ceiling light installation, enlivening audio scape and carefully curated exhibits. An exhibition design collaboration between Futudesign, Sun Effects, Flatlight Creative House and JKMM Architects, it communicates how a symbiosis between people, pure nature and technology can lead to greater happiness.

▼环绕在芬兰馆展览空间内的电影屏幕,the 53-meter-long film looping around Snow Cape’s exhibition space © Marc Goodwin

The film follows the real life of a little girl in Finland © Stephane Aboudaram, We are content(s)


Several Finnish companies have been actively involved in the construction of the Finnish pavilion, including KONE (doors and bespoke lifts) and Halton Group (exhibition air ventilation system). Their leaders, alongside those of the over 100 Finnish companies exhibiting within Snow Cape, understand that they are key cornerstones in achieving the sustainability success and circular economy goals for which Finland strives.

▼精心设计的光影与音效提供了沉浸式的参观体验,Carefully designed lighting and sound effects provide an immersive viewing experience © Marc Goodwin

▼灯光与装饰细部,lighting and decorative detail © Marc Goodwin

▼夜景,night view © Marc Goodwin

▼总平面图,master plan © JKMM Architects

▼底层平面图,ground floor plan © JKMM Architects

▼二层平面图,upper floor plan © JKMM Architects

▼入口立面图,elevation © JKMM Architects

▼剖面图,sections © JKMM Architects

Project name:Finland Pavilion Dubai Expo 2020
Type:Competition, 1st Prize 2018
Location:Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Year:2018 – 2021
Scale:Total gross floor area 1867 m2
Client:Business Finland
Schedule:2018 – 2021
Total scope:
1867 m2 gross floor area 15 m high
19 m wide
49 m long
3 levels
1 custom-made elevator 2 staircases
Client:Business Finland (Helsinki, Finland)
Lead architect:JKMM Architects (Helsinki, Finland)
Project management and general contractor:Expomobilia AG (Switzerland)
Architect of record / consultant UAE:NSD Architectural Consultants (Dubai, UAE)
Main contractor (construction UAE):Cimolai Rimond (Dubai, UAE)
Total area of white “Snow Cape” i.e. façade fabric surface: approximately 2000 m2 Total area of wooden wall surface in the “Gorge”: 750 m2
Total length of wooden slats in the Gorge wall: more than 22 km
Maximum height of the tent-like entrance opening: 13 m
Maximum height of triangular entrance opening to the Gorge: 7.5 m
Maximum height of the Gorge: 15 m
More than 4000 granite tiles form the pavement in the main entrance and Gorge area. More than 2000 granite tiles form the artistic pattern in the shallow lakes in front of the pavilion.