The cone-shaped clay buildings of the Austrian Pavilion at Expo Dubai seamlessly mimic wind towers.

Austrian pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai

Studied Vienna-based architecture office ‘querkraft architekten’ EXPO 2020 DubaiWith the slogan ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, and almost instantly, the design team envisioned an Austrian pavilion that would combine the traditional roots of the Arab country with collective advocacy for renewable resources.

The result carves out 38 intersecting cones for Austria. mansion where there is duality. While the exterior of the architecture reflects the wind towers with its conical mold and circular opening above, the interior is a serene environment with clay plaster that visitors can touch and feel.

images courtesy of quekraft architekten | photo © Andreas Keller Fotografie (unless noted)

Querkraft architects drew their influence from the historic wind towers and climate-regulating qualities of traditional Arabian clay architecture. They combined the two, building 38 cone structures of different heights and various spans to showcase the Austrian EXPO pavilion.

Arranged around three green courtyards, the sequences of the rooms are dictated by the sloping arches of the entryways, gradually transitioning from daylight to shaded areas.

Trees and foliage sometimes shift and often appear as additional elements that enhance an inside-out feeling. As Querkraft points out, ‘The canopy of leaves rustling in the wind, the ubiquitous interplay of light and shadow over the open cones, the building itself appeals to all the senses.’

austria pavilion expo 2020 dubai
indoor | photo © Kieran Fraser Landscape Design

Easy to disassemble and assemble

The Austrian pavilion at EXPO 2020 Dubai was designed from the beginning with the economical use of resources in mind. querkraft architecture made possible by the construction of eight different types of precast elements. After 182 days of EXPO 2020, which took place from October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022, the cones disintegrated and reassembled in a new location in the Arab world.

The interplay of local building tradition and climate engineering in Austria made it possible to abandon traditional air conditioning technology even in this hot desert climate. ‘Compared to buildings of similar type and use, the energy need has been reduced by more than 70 percent. The Querkraft pavilion thus provides an intercultural contribution to the energy debate and climate-sensitive building questions,’ Architects write.

austria pavilion expo 2020 dubai
Entering the Austrian pavilion at EXPO 2020 Dubai

In keeping with this overarching theme, the Austrian pavilion offers ample space to engage in a multicultural dialogue on questions about a sustainable future, which is now being restructured due to overuse. The architects state that the ethos they are working on for the project lies in the phrase ‘Austria makes sense’, which they see as the vague slogan that their country presents itself to.

austria pavilion expo 2020 dubai

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