Back in 2018, British architecture studio Asif Khan painted a pavilion for the Winter Olympics 2018 in South Korea with a black paint capable of absorbing approximately 99.9% of light. The studio now returns with an engineering feat for Expo 2020 Dubai. As part of the Expo’s Public Realm works, Asif Khan designed three ethereal portals that will grant visitors from all around the world entry into the event.
Inspired by the traditional “mashrabiya,” an architectural element characteristic of Arabic residences that controls light and airflow, the Expo Entry Portals are constructed from ultra-lightweight carbon fiber to mimic these highly decorative forms. Standing 21 meters high, the structures appear almost translucent, as the geometric pattern finds harmony between structural strength, material efficiency, wind permeability and shading quantity.
The design sheds light on a future form of architecture, while allowing visitors to “immerse themselves in shared Islamic culture, art and language.” “The portals will be the first and last encountering moment for all who make the journey to Expo 2020 Dubai, and these capture the very transcendental moment the region is experiencing as it hosts its first World Expo – the celebration not only of UAE’s heritage, but also the future,” Khan explains.
Take a closer look at Asif Khan’s Expo Entry Portals design above. Expo 2020 Dubai will run from October 20, 2020 to April 10, 2021.