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Groundbreaking Ceremony Held for the Japan Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai

August 27, 2019

On August 26, 2019, Japan held a groundbreaking ceremony for the Japan Pavilion at the scheduled Expo 2020 Dubai site.

Overview of the ceremony

The ceremony brought together Mr. Akihiko Nakajima, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Dr. Akima Umezawa, Consul-General of Japan in Dubai, Mr. Tomiyasu Nakamura, Commissioner General of the Japanese Section,, as a representative of the government of Japan for the Expo 2020 Dubai, Mr. Najeeb Mohammed Al-Ali, Executive Director of the Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau, and other officials, and participants broke ground on the pavilion at the site.

At the ceremony, Commissioner General Nakamura, as a representative of the government of Japan, delivered a speech, saying that “the Japan Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai was designed based on the subjects of ‘connection between Japan and the Middle East’ and ‘sustainability.’ Placing the pavilion as a crosspoint of Japan and the Middle East, Japan wishes to connect the legacy of Expo 2020 Dubai to Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, Japan.”

Reference 1: Outline of the Japan Pavilion building

Regarding the Japan Pavilion at the Expo 2020 Dubai, Yuko Nagayama, Director, YUKO NAGAYAMA & ASSOCIATES and NTT FACILITIES INC. will jointly design the building and Obayashi Middle East Construction, LLC. will construct it.

Approaches to designing and constructing the pavilion focus on two subjects of “connection between Japan and the Middle East” and “sustainability.” These subjects will be incorporated in the design and  structures as well as the specifics of the structures of the pavilion, which are inspired by traditional architectures, technologies and cultures of both the Middle East and Japan.

The design of the front, called “facade,” of the pavilion is a combination of traditional arabesques and asanoha (cannabis) patterns. This design represents the historical connection over the ages between Japan and the Middle East as well as a cultural crosspoint of them. The three-dimensional appearance, which will welcome visitors first, is inspired from Origami paper folding originating from Origata, a Japanese decorum, gift wrapping method that people have traditionally used for showing their respect to others.

Moreover, focusing on the subject of sustainability, the pavilion will make use of an environmentally-friendly air-conditioning systems inspired by both Badgir, a traditional Middle Eastern architectural element also known as a ‘windcatcher’ that is used to create natural ventilation, and Uchimizu, a traditional Japanese method of sprinkling water by ladle in front of homes and shops for practical, courteous, and meditative and reasons.

Reference 2: Outline of the Japan Pavilion

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