BIG sculpts rammed earth dome for UAE pavilion at doha's international horticultural expo

BIG sculpts rammed earth dome for UAE pavilion at doha's international horticultural expo

UAE Pavilion by BIG at 2023 International Horticultural Expo

 

The UAE Pavilion at the 2023 International Horticultural Expo in Doha, Qatar, showcases the region’s environmental preservation and agricultural innovation. Inspired by the deep roots and intertwined branches of the local Ghaf Tree, the pavilion design signed by architecture practice BIG—Bjarke Ingels Group reveals a dome-shaped labyrinth made out of rammed earth, gradually rising towards its center. The structure frames a series of exhibition galleries and 32 gardens, creating an immersive experience of the UAE’s diverse landscape, from desert to oasis and sea to mountains. 

BIG sculpts rammed earth dome for UAE pavilion at doha's international horticultural expo
UAE Pavilion by BIG | image © Shoayb Khattab

 

 

drawing on natural systems and vernacular practices

 

As described by BIG’s Partner & Head of Landscape, Giulia Frittoli, the UAE Pavilion at the International Horticultural Expo (see more here) responds to the climate crisis by looking to the country’s natural systems and centuries-old vernacular architecture. ‘Meandering paths lead to an outdoor oasis, which is organized as a series of thematic gardens that explore the power of plants as a source of food, health, and energy. By weaving together architecture and landscape into a seamless experience, the UAE Pavilion shares the story of humanity’s inseparable bonds with nature,’ she notes. 

BIG sculpts rammed earth dome for UAE pavilion at doha's international horticultural expo
a dome-shaped labyrinth made out of rammed earth | image © Seeing Things

 

 

an open dome of rammed earth filled with gardens

 

The team at BIG primarily uses locally sourced materials, including rammed earth for the walls, which includes 90% soil and 10% cement for binding. The roof structure is formed by wooden beams topped with palm leaves for shading, and limestone rocks are used to pave surfaces. Throughout the gardens, guests of the International Horticultural Expo can explore native and non-native plants cultivated or found in the wild. The landscaping and greenhouse include 65 species and 6,609 plants with edible plants, fruit trees, medicinal plants, a bee garden, flowers, spices, shrubs, grasses, industrial plants, and perennials. The greenhouse is filled with fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, bell peppers, figs, and citrus fruits. Overall, BIG has selected the plants to highlight species that contribute to the UAE’s agricultural legacy, from past to present and future. 

BIG sculpts rammed earth dome for UAE pavilion at doha's international horticultural expo
inspired by the deep roots and branches of the local Ghaf Tree | image © Seeing Things

BIG sculpts rammed earth dome for UAE pavilion at doha's international horticultural expo
image © Shoayb Khattab

BIG sculpts rammed earth dome for UAE pavilion at doha's international horticultural expo
meandering paths | image © Seeing Things

uae-pavilion-big-designboom-full

image © Seeing Things

BIG sculpts rammed earth dome for UAE pavilion at doha's international horticultural expo
image © Shoayb Khattab

BIG sculpts rammed earth dome for UAE pavilion at doha's international horticultural expo
exploring native and non-native plants cultivated or found in the wild | image © Giulia Frittoli

uae-pavilion-big-designboom-full-4

image © Shoayb Khattab

 

project info:

 

name: UAE Pavilion 

location: Doha Qatar

architect: BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group @big_builds

program: 2023 International Horticultural Expo@expo2023doha

partners in charge: Bjarke Ingels, Guilia Frittoli, Jakob Lange

project leader: Søren Martinussen

project architect: Alvaro Novás Filgueria

project team: Jan-Hendrik Schrader, Malka Logo, Marco Sartoretto, Nicolas Vincent Robert Carlier, Sofia Papadopoulou, Xavier Thanki, Zhiyuan Zhang

BIG engineering: Andrea Hektor, Carrie Tam, Jens Max Jensen, Jesús Fernandez Fraile, Kannan Selvaraj, Thomas Lejeune

BIG products: Jan-Hendrik Schrader

BIG landscape: Dace Gurecka, Jae Yoon Lee, Anna Beatrice Maria Ambrosi, Bartłomiej Lew, Giancarlo Albarello Herrera, Hansen Zhu, Mónica Galiana Rodriquez, Nouran Wael Mohamed Rashad, Mohamed Sherif, Rihab Soukkarieh, Seyederfan Masoumzadeh

collaborators: Commarble Design Studio, Atelier Brückner, Mace, CEG

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