Dubai: The Poland Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai welcomed an eager crowd of visitors and dignitaries for its official opening on Friday.
Volunteers sprinted from guest to guest with hot plates of Polish food — a serving of chicken and potatoes with a side of spinach. This gesture of hospitality comes naturally to Poles, as Adrian Malinowski, Commissioner General of the Poland Pavilion, told Gulf News that the team would receive the world not as visitors but as “guests”.
Poland’s story is divided into five chapters and each one boils down to the country’s very personal connection with nature. The wooden pavilion is home to an artistic multimedia installation on the ground floor called ‘The Polish Table’, composed primarily of timber.
“This type of construction is very popular in Poland,” said architect Marta Sekulsa-Wronska of WXCA. “So we thought that introducing a sustainable building in this way would be great.”
Metaphor for flora and fauna
A large flock of metallic birds can be seen perched on the exterior and interior of the pavilion, symbolising one of the strengths of Poland. Managing partner Iwan Funk of Bellprat Partner AG, the firm in charge of designing exhibits, says these migratory birds are a metaphor for Polish flora and fauna, “surrounding the beautiful building and also going inside, taking visitors on their journey through Poland”.
The pavilion launched its first temporary exhibit ‘Xylopolis’, inspired by the coldest region of the country — Podlaskie. Meaning ‘a city of wood’ in Greek, Xylopolis will last for two weeks, starting from October 1. It offers a glimpse into how nature has impacted the region’s traditions. Bringing the experience together is a group of tree trunks housing multimedia attractions — and an art installation specially shipped from the country.