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“Terra” Pavilion

A Sustainability Manifesto in the Desert

Grimshaw Architects

“Terra” Pavilion
By Elisa Grossi -
Thorn, Saint-Gobain, Zumtobel Group, Iris Ceramica Group have participated in the project

“Terra - The Sustainability Pavilion” is one of three themed pavilions at Dubai Expo 2020, a zero-impact example of architecture that promotes a sustainable lifestyle in an extreme desert climate. Designed by Grimshaw, this futuristic architectural work features a steel structure with an organic silhouette inspired by the chlorophyll photosynthesis process. Indeed, the pavilion’s shape serves the function of capturing energy from sunlight and extracting water from airborne moisture.

A visit to “Terra” is an immersive journey into the wonders of nature, first through the marine world, with all of the environmental problems plaguing it, such as plastic pollution and over-exploitation of resources, then on to discover the roots of forest plants in what has been dubbed the “wood-wide-web”, a sort of green version of the “world-wide-web”. The interactive path continues to the Hall of Consumption, where the devastating effects man’s actions can have on the Earth’s ecosystem are shown, the aim being to raise awareness about the harmful impact some of our everyday behavior has on the environment, spurring us to become agents of positive change.

After the 2015 Milan Expo, the 2020 edition of the universal exposition is the first to be hosted in the Middle East. Postponed from last year due to the pandemic, it opened its doors in Dubai in October, and runs until March 2022.

In addition to “Terra”, two other themed pavilions link individual countries’ pavilions: “Alif”, dedicated to mobility and designed by Foster + Partners, and “Mission Possible”, designed by AGi Architects and based on the principle of opportunity, the fact that even small actions can have a big impact.

So, sustainability, mobility and opportunities are the three main areas of the Expo at the Dubai Trade Center. Environmental sustainability plays a starring...

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