Dubai: Singapore will have a pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai that will represent a mini version of the island city-state in Southeast Asia.
Since the country is one of the smallest in the world — ranked 176th in terms of land area at 728.3 sq-kilometre — Singapore will also occupy one of the smallest pavilions at the Expo, measuring only 1,550 square metres. However, with the small size comes a big package.
“We will bring a mini Singapore to Dubai,” said Larry Ng, Commissioner-General of the Singapore Pavilion, adding: “The pavilion will highlight how the country continues to strive towards liveability, sustainability and resilience through innovative urban solutions. It will also showcase Singapore’s strengths and expertise with the aim of creating potential business opportunities for the country,”
Ng noted that despite Singapore’s small size and limited natural resources, it has developed into one of the world’s most advanced urban centres. He said: “(Our) pavilion will profile Singapore’s experience and expertise in developing and implementing urban innovations. (We) will also showcase (our) continued commitment towards building a sustainable future while balancing the needs of the people and environment”.
Nature and future
Singapore Pavilion is themed ‘Nature. Nurture. Future.’ Designed by Singapore-based architecture firm WOHA, the pavilion will “underscore Singapore’s vision of shaping itself into a liveable, sustainable and resilient city of the future through the smart integration of design, technology and nature”.
Wong Mun Summ, co-founding director of WOHA, said construction is almost finished and the pavilion will be ready before the opening of Expo 2020 Dubai on October 1.
Wong said visitors to Singapore Pavilion will experience a ‘City in Nature’. The pavilion is designed as a dense, multi-layered three-dimensional greening space, to represent a city that is set in a garden.
The ground level is set in a tropical garden ambience and there are three large modular garden cones draped in verdant vertical greenery, forming the centrepieces of the pavilion. A canopy walk will connect the three cones to lead visitors through the exhibits and up to an open platform with vantage points of the Expo site that also allows for interaction. The Singapore Pavilion is also envisioned as a net-zero energy pavilion with a cantilevered roof to provide shade and thermal comfort. There are also solar panels and a water treatment technology plant to provide for the energy and water needs of the pavilion.
Walk in the park
Giving a more detailed description of the Singapore Pavilion, Ng said: “Upon entering the ground garden, visitors will be welcomed by a garden landscape, with a phytoremediation (the process of using living plants to remove contaminants in the soil, water and air) pond nestled among a lush array of plants, trees, shrubs, including Singapore’s national flower, the Vanda Miss Joaquim orchid.”
He continued: “As visitors make their way inside, they will journey through three verdant thematic cones — Rainforest Cone, City Cone, and Flower Cone — each housing key exhibits that showcase Singapore’s transformational journey, solutions to urban issues, as well as efforts in creating a sustainable future for our people. The three cones are connected by a meandering, gently-sloping canopy walk, capped with a hanging garden of draping vines, leading to the Sky Market, which is an open platform located on the top floor and a convivial area for visitors to learn more about the different facets of Singapore’s culture.”
Ng noted the pavilion will have minimal impact on environment through its lifecycle. “It is designed to be a self-sufficient ecosystem, to achieve net-zero energy during the six-month event via the use of solar panels, management of energy and desalination of saline groundwater,” he added.
Ng underlined: “Being a country limited by land size and natural resources, it is crucial for Singapore to constantly innovate to stay ahead of the urban and environmental challenges of our time. The regenerative design framework of the Singapore Pavilion is an embodiment of how the nation has continued to overcome its physical limitations and be a liveable, sustainable and resilient city.”