As more and more countries reveal their pavilion designs for Expo 2020 Dubai, a look back at architectural creations from past Expos offers many inspirational and intriguing designs. With thousands of architects having shaped the history of structures and the built environment by designing bold pavilions, structures and sites for Expos, it is impossible to sufficiently highlight them all. Instead, each week will see a new post for each letter of the alphabet, offering a snapshot of 26 selected figures in the world of architecture.
Starting with A is Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese architect Tadao Ando, renowned for creating open, geometric buildings that fit in to their surroundings. Recognised primarily for his use of concrete, Ando opted for wood when selected to design Japan’s pavilion at World Expo 1992 Seville.
Acquainting visitors with Japan’s traditional aesthetic while highlighting its modernity, the five-floor structure offered a new interpretation of wood architecture, using the latest technologies available, including a translucent Teflon-coated roof. The result was an impressive feat; one of the world’s largest wooden structures spanning 60 metres, with its large pillars paying tribute to “shiguchi”, the Japanese art of joinery. With its gentle concave roof and convex sides, and a breeze-way between the two wings, the pavilion maintained, in line with Ando’s style, a strong link with natural elements.
The Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) is the intergovernmental organisation in charge of overseeing and regulating World Expos, Specialised Expos, Horticultural Expos and the Triennale di Milano.