HOK chosen to masterplan dubai world expo site in 2020
HOK chosen to masterplan dubai world expo site in 2020 HOK chosen to masterplan dubai world expo site in 2020
dec 05, 2013

HOK chosen to masterplan dubai world expo site in 2020

HOK chosen to masterplan dubai world expo site in 2020
image © HOK
all images courtesy of HOK




after it was confirmed that dubai would become the first middle eastern city to host the world expo in its 160 year history, HOK released further images of their proposal for the site. the futuristic and innovative design draws on traditional emirati planning concepts, fully embracing the heritage and history of the region. the ‘connecting minds, creating the future’ inspired scheme comprises three pavilions, symbolizing opportunity, sustainability and mobility, connected through an expansive central plaza.


dubai’s selection was announced on novmber 27th by representatives of the 167 bureau international des expositions (BIE) member nations. HOK worked as lead designers for the project, alongside populous and arup.


the futuristic design draws on traditional emirati planning concepts
image © HOK




equidistant from the centers of abu dhabi and dubai, the 1,082-acre (438-hectare) expo site is located next to the new al maktoum international airport and in close proximity to jebel ali port, the third busiest port in the world.


referencing traditional arabic souks, the development encourages interaction among visitors through the placing of small clusters of exhibition spaces in the center of the design, with the larger pavilions situated around the perimeter of the site. a central plaza, named the ‘al wasl’ – the historic arabic name for dubai, which means ‘the connection’ – links the site’s various zones.


world expos are among the largest global events, ranking alongside the olympics and the FIFA world cup
image © HOK




considering the environmental implications of the event, photovoltaic panels positioned on building façades aim to provide at least 50% of required energy. the boulevards will be shaded by the photovoltaic fabric structure, while the smaller connective streets will be protected from the sun through the use of pavilions and strategic landscaping. at night the iconic structure will be illuminated through a variety of digital projections. greywater recycling and the reuse of discarded materials also form a key part of on-site sustainability.


a central plaza named the ‘al wasl’ connects the site and its various zones
image © HOK




after the conclusion of the event the three main pavilions will be amalgamated to form the ‘museum of the future’, a national institution celebrating the achievements of the expo and ensuring a legacy for the project, the region and its people.


HOK teamed with populous, who provided venue planning, shade structure and participant design guidelines, while arup provided infrastructure and transportation services.


the boulevards will be shaded by an iconic photovoltaic fabric structure
image © HOK




‘we are proud to have been the lead designer of the expo site and to be associated with producing a winning entry for the UAE so that this great country can continue to boost its reputation on a global stage’, commented daniel hajjar, HOK’s management principal in dubai.


smaller connective streets will be protected from the sun through the use of pavilions and strategic landscaping
image © HOK


an aerial view of the proposed expo site
image © HOK

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