Al Wasl Plaza, an open space at the center of Expo 2020 Dubai, combines breathtaking design, innovative technology, and an intricate domed trellis incorporating a huge immersive projection experience. The plaza at the center of the 4.38-square kilometer site will make a dramatic impression on the millions of people visiting Expo 2020 Dubai from around the world.
The 150 meter diameter Al Wasl Plaza is being designed as a central hub for the exposition. The space will bring people of all backgrounds together to “Connect Minds,” a key ambition of the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia (MEASA) region.
Al Wasl is the historical name for Dubai but also means “connection” in Arabic, reflecting both Dubai’s goal of bringing people together at the Expo and the plaza’s physical location at the heart of the site. The plaza will connect the three thematic districts – Opportunity, Sustainability and Mobility – as well as the other main concourses, including the Dubai Metro link and the UAE Pavilion, through its seven entrances and exits.
The plaza will be topped by a 65-meter-high domed trellis that was inspired by the shape of the Expo 2020 Dubai logo and will act as an immersive 360-degree projection surface. As the dome is translucent, the projection will be visible to both those inside and out of the covered plaza.
Numerous other features in the plaza include restaurants, fountains, and parks. The comfort of visitors to Expo 2020 Dubai has been factored into the design of the plaza. The design uses techniques to calibrate the temperature under the trellis with that outside, ensuring a comfortable environment.
After the Expo completes in 2021, the plaza will continue to play a central role – literally and metaphorically – in its legacy. There are plans to convert the surrounding 10-13 story buildings into hotels and other commercial uses, complementing the entire mixed-use legacy of the Expo site.
The location will also further strengthen Dubai’s thriving events scene, having been designed to be adapted to host experiences of all sizes and purposes, whether it be a small, intimate event or a large gathering of up to 10,000 people, such as National Day celebrations.
Expo 2020 Dubai will open its doors on 20 October, 2020 and will end on 10 April, 2021. Work is due to start on Al Wasl Plaza in the coming months and is expected to be completed by the end of 2019. Source and images, Courtesy of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture.
Article by Marco Rinaldi