Morocco Pavilion at Universal expo in Dubai 2020
The Morocco Pavilion at Expo 2021 in Dubai demonstrates how traditional Moroccan design and construction techniques are finding new relevance in contemporary design and urban development efforts. As a pioneering work in adobe construction - the building’s 4,000 square meter adobe facade will be the largest of its kind - the Pavilion aims to push the technical and creative limits of Morocco’s traditional building materials to new heights, while paying tribute to the country’s rich culture and landscape.
Composed of twenty-two stacked rectangular volumes, visually reminiscent of the clay villages of Morocco, the Pavilion includes fourteen exhibition spaces, a traditional Moroccan restaurant, a tearoom, a modern street food space, a boutique, an event space, an office space and a lounge. Arranged vertically around a lush inner courtyard - an important spatial element in traditional Moroccan architecture - each of these spaces is connected by a continuous «inner street», which begins at the highest floor of the building and gradually descends to the first floor.
The Pavilion’s exterior envelope is composed of a 4,000-square-meter, 33-meter-high rammed earth façade, an ambitious and pioneering technical achievement in the use of rammed earth construction methods. Pisé, a traditional building material in Morocco, plays a key role in passively regulating indoor conditions in hot and arid locations. Its use in the Pavilion demonstrates that it is both a traditional and innovative material, providing an example of how these construction methods can be used to inspire more sustainable models of urban development. Combined with other passive strategies used in the building’s design, such as interior wood facades that act as sunshades, the adobe facade allows the Pavilion to fully meet the demanding LEED green standards.
In keeping with this commitment to sustainability, after the close of Expo 2021, the Pavilion will be transformed into a housing complex, with existing facilities sensibly adapted into apartments, an 80-square-meter swimming pool, a fitness club, and a common lounge.