Global brand experience agency, Avantgarde, leads creation of interactive, immersive landmark
Avantgarde today announces the opening of the UK Pavilion at Expo Dubai 2020 – the result of close collaboration between London-based design and construction teams, led by Avantgarde, on behalf of the UK’s Department for International Trade. Built around the theme Innovating For A Shared Future, the Pavilion is the UK’s largest ever presence at a World Expo event, which have been held regularly since 1851.
Expo 2020 Dubai is a six-month long celebration of humanity’s resilience, creativity, culture and innovation. This is the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East as well as the largest ever event to take place in the region – with more than 190 countries participating.
The UK Pavilion is conceived and designed by Es Devlin with creative production by Avantgarde. Together they brought this design to life with the help of executive architects Veretec and structural engineers Atelier One. It was made sustainable by Atelier Ten, built by McLaren and PICO, managed by MACE and animated through a partnership between Google Arts & Culture, LUX Technical and Luke Halls Studio.
The 25-metre-high structure invites visitors to donate a word to the Collective Message – a poetic collective message compiled by an algorithm, utilising the donated words and trained on thousands of poems from hundreds of British poets. The Collective Message will radiate out across the site via the Pavilion’s illuminated dynamic façade – with visitors able to begin donating words from 1st October.
The unique timber and steel structure sits on a concrete angled plinth which provides a maze-like journey for visitors, along which they discover the story of UK innovation through striking graphics and AR content. At the heart of the Pavilion, within the cone structure, is the Choral Space, which resembles the resonating chamber of a wooden musical instrument. Here, visitors are cocooned in a uniquely created soundscape featuring voices and instruments from around the world, whist the words they’ve donated light up the surroundings.
The pavilion also incorporates a distinct restaurant, 1851, which showcases the best of British food and drink from all over the UK. The additional event space will hold a series of exciting live experiences celebrating UK experts, thinkers, innovators and businesses and their globally recognised contributions to creating shared futures.
The Expo 2020 Dubai runs until the 31st of March 2022.
Steve Austen-Brown, Creative Director, Avantgarde, says: “Working on Expo Dubai 2020 has been an incredible experience. Seeing our vision and design for the UK Pavilion come to life and be shared with people around the globe is an amazing thing to be a part of. I’m now looking forward to visitors entering their word into the Collective Message. It will be exciting to see how this develops as more and more people visit over the coming months.”
Stuart Bradbury MD of Avantgarde London adds: “Avantgarde has been working on the creation of the UK Pavilion for four years, so this is a momentous moment for us. We were honoured to be chosen to represent the UK with this project and have relished the opportunity to work directly with both Expo 2020 Dubai and Es Devlin. After all the challenges of the last 18 months now feels like the perfect moment for a truly global, completely inspiring event.”