Foster + Partners’ design for the UAE pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai
Expo has broken ground. Drawing inspiration from the form of a sand
dune, the pavilion is a reference to this symbolic feature of the
desert landscape shared by each of the seven emirates.
The landscape and climate of the UAE are integral to Emirati culture.
Like a sand dune, the pavilion appears rough and textured on the side
that bears the full force of the wind and smooth on the other side. The
northern elevation is more porous to admit natural light, while the
southern elevation has a solid façade, to minimise solar gain. A
stainless steel skin, treated to appear golden, encloses the jewel-like