the first layer of snow inspires JKMM's finland pavilion at expo 2020 dubai

the first layer of snow inspires JKMM's finland pavilion at expo 2020 dubai

snow COMES to the desert AT EXPO 2020 DUBAI

 

JKMM architects has designed the finland pavilion at expo 2020 dubai to highlight the country’s deep connection to nature and commitment to sustainability. called ‘snow cape’, the completed building features a crisp white exterior and a tent-like entrance.

 

‘in designing the pavilion, we sought to bring a fragment of finnish nature to the UAE and dubai,’  explains teemu kurkela, founder and creative partner at JKMM architects.

 

‘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 the expo for meeting face-to-face.’

expo 2020 dubai JKMM finland pavilion
images © marc goodwin

 

 

a metaphorical messenger from finland

 

JKMM’s snow cape fuses several aspects of finland into one building, from finnish nature to the country’s long tradition of minimalist and modernist design. these ideas are articulated in five design elements: ‘cool breeze’, ‘first snow’, ‘wooden heart’, ‘frozen art’, and ‘fresh water’.

 

‘cool breeze’ is the sail-like signage at the pavilion’s entrance. the satin-textured aluminum surface and organic shape work visually with nearby water elements to announce a focus on nature.

 

‘first snow’ characterizes 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 color minimizes solar gain and offers shelter from the sun.

expo 2020 dubai JKMM finland pavilion
the finland pavilion exterior evokes both snow and a tent

 

 

‘wooden heart’ is the central gorge-like space carved into the building, which is designed as a hub for face-to-face meetings. sculptural in nature, it is defined by its curved slatted timber 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.

 

‘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% recyclable) found inside the pavilion, as well as in and around the water features. composed from a variety of specimens, frozen art is a poignant reference to climate change-induced nordic snow- and ice-melt.

 

‘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.

expo 2020 dubai JKMM finland pavilion
the tent-like opening leads visitors inside the ‘wooden heart’

 

 

sustainability was a guiding theme throughout JKMM’s design and the subsequent construction process. bar a limited number of imported finnish materials, snow cape was built almost entirely using locally sourced material, thereby reducing the environmental burden caused by unnecessary logistics and transportation.

 

the simple design of the pavilion’s interiors (a pared-down shell) minimizes unnecessary additional claddings, enabling JKMM to reduce the overall use of materials. the design of snow cape was also actively informed by how it could be used after the world expo. business finland has recently confirmed that the structure will remain in situ for a further five years, after which 80–85% of the materials used in its construction will be recycled and reused.

the first layer of snow inspires JKMM's finland pavilion at expo 2020 dubai
snow cape was built almost entirely using locally sourced material

 

 

snow cape is envisioned as a place of meeting at expo, a calming and cool respite from the surrounding bustle. it’s also designed to ensure a memorable visitor experience under the theme of ‘sharing future happiness’.

 

‘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.

 

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 complemented by an immersive experience in the form of a ceiling light installation, enlivening audio scape and carefully curated exhibits by more than 100 finnish companies. 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.

jkmm-lumi-pavilion-expo-2020-dubai-designboom-19X

the central space features a water droplet-shaped oculus

the first layer of snow inspires JKMM's finland pavilion at expo 2020 dubai
several finnish companies were involved in the construction of the pavilion

 

 

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the first layer of snow inspires JKMM’s finland pavilion at expo 2020 dubai
 
the first layer of snow inspires JKMM’s finland pavilion at expo 2020 dubai
 
the first layer of snow inspires JKMM’s finland pavilion at expo 2020 dubai
 
the first layer of snow inspires JKMM’s finland pavilion at expo 2020 dubai
 
the first layer of snow inspires JKMM’s finland pavilion at expo 2020 dubai
 
the first layer of snow inspires JKMM’s finland pavilion at expo 2020 dubai
 
the first layer of snow inspires JKMM’s finland pavilion at expo 2020 dubai
 
the first layer of snow inspires JKMM’s finland pavilion at expo 2020 dubai
 
the first layer of snow inspires JKMM’s finland pavilion at expo 2020 dubai
 
the first layer of snow inspires JKMM’s finland pavilion at expo 2020 dubai
 
the first layer of snow inspires JKMM’s finland pavilion at expo 2020 dubai
 
the first layer of snow inspires JKMM’s finland pavilion at expo 2020 dubai
 

project info:

 

name: snow cape / finland pavilion

architecture: JKMM architects

total gross floor area: 1,867 sqm / 20,096 sqft

client: business finland

event: expo 2020 dubai

event dates: october 1, 2021 – march 31, 2022

photography: marc goodwin

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