Dubai: For Expo 2020 Dubai, Sweden looks to the way trees communicate beneath the forest floor, their rapport markedly characteristic of the Swedish identity. A community of trees shares not only information but also nourishment to keep the ecosystem balanced and thriving. The Sweden Pavilion replicates this collaborative spirit in its forest design while reminding us to do our part as individuals in a global society.
Take a stroll among Nordic woods
Within the Sustainability District, ‘The Forest’ stands out enclosed by a cluster of tree stumps taller than the pavilion facade, the trunks shipped directly from Sweden. Stockholm-based Alessandro Ripellino Architects, Paris-based Studio Adrien Gardere and Rome-based Luigi Pardo Architetti worked collaboratively on hammering the pavilion theme of ‘co-creation for innovation’ into the design that stands as a metaphor for a forest-like interconnected ecosystem.
Approximately 2,600 cubic metres of wood has gone into building the angular structure, which will behave like a carbon sink, absorbing 2,000 tonnes of carbon from the ambient atmosphere. Besides storing carbon, the use of wood and other sustainable materials in the construction of the pavilion, as opposed to steel and concrete, will save Sweden 1,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
While the ground floor is an open-plan space, the second floor is sectioned off into treehouses that will host conference rooms and offices. It is here the design pays tribute to Islamic architecture by cladding the treehouses with the mashrabiya style of wooden lattice screens manufactured in Lithuania.
As the treehouses jut out and hover above the public exhibition and cafe, they become the pavilion ceiling as well, shading visitors intermittently. On the ground level, exhibition zones are scattered to resemble forest glades, like clearings hidden behind rows of tree trunks that visitors will chance upon during their stroll.
The Swedish vision is clearly concerned with circular economies, where nothing goes to waste, but also smart cities, the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0), innovative mobility and life sciences slated for showcase at the pavilion.
- The writer is an intern with Gulf News.