Architecture firms Selgascano and FRPO have unveiled their proposal for the Spanish Pavilion for EXPO 2020 Dubai. The project includes an inflatable canopy of nine yellow ETFE cylinders set within a steel framework. The pavilion has been conceived as an interpretation of a typical Plaza de España, a space that can be programmed and operated in multiple ways, incorporating waiting areas, stages, resting areas, terraces, and artistic installations.

 Spanish Pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai / Selgascano + FRPO Spanish Pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai / Selgascano + FRPO

As Expo 2020 will be held during Dubai’s cooler months, Selgascano and FRPO’s design takes advantage of the lower temperatures with a generous amount of outdoor space. The inflatables move to adapt to the daily movement of the sun and protect the square from its radiation during the entire duration of the Expo. Under them, a matrix of large fans moves the air to accompany the gentle breeze generated by natural convection. The floor of the plaza is refreshing. Ceramic pieces humidified by drip that produce natural cooling by evaporation of water through its pores will provide the so-called “botijo effect”.

Also in Spain, the idea of the square is classically linked to the presence of water. Water contained, conducted and recirculated; never wasted. The Plaza is marked with three areas of native vegetation and moving water that are activated as small oases. Three areas of native vegetation and moving water help temper the heat, while serving as sources of freshness, shade, and life. meanwhile, a single-floor exhibition space joins other services beneath the pavilion’s elevated square.

 Spanish Pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai / Selgascano + FRPO

The Pavilion has been designed as a building of Zero Energetic Consumption and Zero Emissions. For this, the demand has been reduced to the maximum, minimizing the surface and the volume of the heated spaces and using low consumption equipment, and the available surface for self-generation of electric power has been maximized through photovoltaic panels on the roof. All the electrical energy of the air conditioning system will be produced by the flexible photovoltaic panels placed on the roof.

 Spanish Pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai / Selgascano + FRPO Spanish Pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai / Selgascano + FRPO

The design team also suggest that the structure, particularly the inflatable deck, could be easily assembled in a second location, such as a fairground. As more than 80% of the material used will be certified recycled material, other elements could be recycled or reused independently.