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The last major element in the design of the Expo 2020 Dubai site was unveiled on Monday
Al Wasl Plaza is an open space that combines breathtaking design, innovative technology and an intricate domed trellis incorporating a huge immersive projection experience. Work is due to start on Al Wasl Plaza in the coming months and is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.
The plaza will be a unique space at the centre of the 4.38 sq km site. As the last major design element of the site in Dubai South to be announced, Al Wasl Plaza will be developed alongside the other locations, such as the themed pavilions, at the site, which is on track for the scheduled date of October 2019 for all heavy construction work to be finished.
Al Wasl, which is 150 metres in diameter, was designed to have not only the ‘wow factor’ but also to be a central hub during Expo and beyond.
It will connect the three thematic districts – Opportunity, Sustainability and Mobility – as well as the other main concourses, including the Dubai Metro link and the UAE Pavilion, through its seven entrances and exits.
Al Wasl, which means ‘connection’ in Arabic, reflects both Dubai’s goal of bringing people together at the Expo and the plaza’s physical location at the heart of the site.
Expo 2020 Dubai worked with world-renowned Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (AS+GG) on the design of the space after the firm beat competition from some of the biggest names in the industry to win the contract. Adrian Smith was design partner on the team that designed Dubai’s Burj Khalifa. The design was viewed and approved by the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee.
The plaza will be topped by a 65 metre-high domed trellis inspired by the shape of the Expo 2020 Dubai logo. The trellis will act as an immersive 360-degree projection surface. As the dome is translucent, the projection will be visible to both those inside and out. The numerous other features of the plaza include restaurants, fountains and parks.
Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General, Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau, said, “Al Wasl Plaza will be an inspirational location, exemplifying local culture and family values while also looking to the future. “It is also the last major design element of the Expo site to be finalised. We look forward to watching the plaza develop alongside the rest of Expo 2020 Dubai.”
The design of the plaza uses techniques to calibrate the temperature under the trellis with that outside, ensuring a comfortable environment.
Gordon Gill, design partner at Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, added, “Expo 2020 Dubai will be an exceptional, unmissable and breathtaking global destination, and we feel Al Wasl Plaza embodies that vision. “We want Al Wasl Plaza, with its cutting-edge design, to inspire not just our generation but many generations to come.”
The plaza will be home to events throughout Expo 2020 Dubai, while after the Expo finishes in 2021, it will also play a central role – literally and metaphorically – in its legacy.
Ahmed Al Khatib, vice-president of Real Estate and Delivery, Expo 2020 Dubai, stated, “Al Wasl Plaza will provide a first-of-its-kind public amenity that will be an inspiration to people around the world. This is a space that at once reflects the heritage of our country and its vision of a future where nature and technological innovation are integrated in a sustainable way.”
Expo 2020 Dubai will open its doors on 20 October 2020 and end on 10 April 2021.