Government opens fray to design ‘inspirational triumph’ for UK’s 2020 showcase in United Arab Emirates

Expo 2020 site

Source: Expo2020

The Dubai World Expo 2020 site

The Department for International Trade has kicked off a design competition seeking architects for the UK pavilion at the Dubai World Expo 2020.

Tender documents for the project suggested the winning practice would be in line for a £1.7m contract in return for their architectural services.

The event, which is being staged on a 4.3 sq km site in Dubai, is expected to attract 25m visitors between October 2020 and April 2021.

DIT said the expo theme was “connecting minds, creating the future” and related to potential for collaboration and partnership to create a better world.

“The expo provides the UK with an ideal platform to project Britain as a global force for prosperity, innovation, creativity and thought leadership,” it said.

“We are seeking a dedicated, inventive, multi-disciplinary creative team that will enable us to interpret the UK’s contribution to the theme in a way which creates the most original, inspiring and memorable visitor experience possible.

Heatherwick Studio's Seed Cathedral - the UK Pavilion at Shanghai World Expo 2010

The standard to beat: Heatherwick Studio’s Seed Cathedral - the UK Pavilion at Shanghai World Expo 2010

“We are looking for a holistic concept that unites the structure with the content. We have a strong tradition of multiple award-winning pavilions which have helped forge the international reputations of their creators - from Thomas Heatherwick’s ‘Seed Cathedral’ at Shanghai 2010, Wolfgang Buttress’s ‘Hive’ at Milan 2015 to Asif Khan’s ‘Yurt’ in Astana.

“This competition offers you the chance to follow those who have gone before with another inspirational triumph.”

The competition is open until April 24. More details are available here.