kozlowski + cardia propose a floating pavilion of tree branches for the dubai expo 2020

kozlowski + cardia propose a floating pavilion of tree branches for the dubai expo 2020

suspended over the entry plaza, the brazilian pavilion for expo 2020 dubai, designed by architect gabriel kozlowski and partners with renowned scenographer gringo cardia, takes the form of a floating nest of tree branches. this sculptural piece generates an inverted topography that is supported by 6 rammed earth walls representing the 6 brazilian biomes. featuring several exhibition spaces, a viewpoint, and a restaurant, the pavilion allows the visitors to fully enjoy the brazilian heritage.

expo 2020 dubai brazilian pavilion designboom
the exhibition ‘together for nature’ and ascent to the elevated floors



kozlowski and cardia’s pavilion is inspired by one of the greatest technological achievements of brazil — the improvement of the direct planting system over the straw. this agricultural technique protects the soil and maintains the ideal thermal conditions for cultivation. the pavilion conceptually mimics this scheme through its layered arrangement — soil, entanglement of protection, productivity — presenting itself as both a building and a symbolic image of the country’s progress. historically, the pavilion is mirrored in the rich brazilian tradition at international expos, subtly borrowing from the masterpieces of paulo mendes da rocha at osaka 1970 and from sérgio bernardes at brussels 1958.

expo 2020 dubai brazilian pavilion designboom
the exhibition ‘together for people’ and the auditorium



the pavilion’s design is based on technological advances in sustainability, both of construction and of performance. the building explores the flexible potential of laminated timber as a structure — renewable material that sequesters carbon rather than releasing it — and of the rammed earth mixed with reinforced concrete, which lowers its energy of production and the absorption of heat. the pavilion produces its own energy, recycles its own water, and makes the use of air conditioning unnecessary by combining the constant flow of air through an open façade, with the humidity of running water and of the vegetation under the shadow.

the exhibition ‘together for tomorrow’



the ground floor is free and opens up under the protection of an inverted topography that floats above it. this continuous entrance pavement hosts the exhibition ‘together for nature’, which is organized around 6 walls, representing the 6 main brazilian biomes. the walls are combined with the soils of each biome and surrounded by totems containing the seeds of their native species, narrating a tactile history of the foundations of our country through colors and textures.

‘direct planting system over straw’ as layering concept



the ascent to the upper exhibitions takes place under an oculus that connects the ground floor directly to the sky. inside a tangle of tree branches, visitors find the ‘together for people’ exhibition. displayed on the inner façades, it showcases brazilian ethnic diversity with the faces of the people and the sounds of the country’s indigenous villages. the center of this space, in turn, houses the exhibition ‘together for tomorrow’ that embraces the great theme of biotechnology from water-related advancements in the areas of desalination, aquaculture and biofuel from algae.

expo 2020 dubai brazilian pavilion designboom



after experiencing the brazilian heritage, the visitors can enjoy a viewing space and restaurant that crown the rooftop of the pavilion. in this pavilion, there is no distinction between outside and inside, between building and exhibition, between sustainability and technology, all together they form a single sensory-cognitive experience that describes the richness and progress of brazil.




expo 2020 dubai brazilian pavilion designboom


exhibit details


internal façades and indigenous faces


ground floor


expo 2020 dubai brazilian pavilion designboom
elevated floor




project info:


design: gabriel kozlowski + gringo cardia, bárbara graeff

brazilian partner: tripper arquitetura

dubai partner: x-architects


designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: maria erman | designboom

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