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Swiss Pavilion EXPO 2020, Dubai UAE

The team led by OOS won the EDAs planning competition for the Swiss Pavilion at EXPO 2020 Dubai UAE. The concept “Reflections” invites the world to experience Switzerland while traveling and to get to know surprising facets of the country. With «Reflections» the team presents an innovative implementation of the given core messages in space and experience. The body of the building combines tradition and innovation, sketches relationships between Orient and Occident and creates a unique presence.

In terms of content and dramaturgy, «Reflections» is reflected in three acts in which the audience experiences selected facets of Switzerland. In the first act, the audience is already invited in the queue to help shape the facet «typically Swiss» – interactively through the reflection in the mirror.

The journey continues into the interior of the pavilion for the second act. Here the facet «unique experience of nature» is staged. The audience strives towards the dramaturgical climax: they walk uphill through real fog. The moment they emerge from the fog, the surprising view of a mountain panorama is revealed.

After traditional and nature-oriented Switzerland, the third act covers the facet «urban and innovative environment». Here Switzerland presents itself both as a workshop and as a showroom for innovations. 

In addition to these three acts, other areas were designed such as a rooftop terrace overlooking the Expo’s Opportunity District where the pavilion is located, a VIP room and an event space.

One of the major challenges in architecture is the expected high density of people as well as the diverse needs and expectations of international guests. OOS meets these challenges with user-oriented, innovative design. The architecture adapts to the geographical and cultural diversity of the visitors on the levels of function and emotion with intuitive communication and spatial orientation. 

Project Details

Präsenz Schweiz / EDA
Dubai, Vereinigte Arabische Emirate
Internal Team
Christoph Kellenberger, Fabio Gieriet, Oliver Walter, Anna Pàl, Takatoshi Oki
External Team
Dr. Lüchinger + Meyer Bauingenieure AG (civil engineer), Digitalbau GmbH (cost planning), OPTIMISE (fire protection), Hefti. Hess. Martignoni. Zürich AG (electrical planning), Dr. Lüchinger + Meyer Bauingenieure AG (facade engineer), anex Ingenieure AG (domestic engineering), Effektschmiede Köln (effects), Lorenz Eugster Landschaftsarchitektur und Städtebau GmbH (landscape architecture), Atelier Derrer (lighting planning), Bellprat Partner (scenography), Jon Wallis (photography)