Categories
Uncategorized

Expo 2020 Dubai: Meet the man behind the gigantic gates – Khaleej Times

The surreal entry portals that welcome every visitor to Expo 2020 Dubai are larger than life — and yet, 99 per cent of this engineering marvel is made of air.
British architect Asif Khan — the brains behind the gigantic Expo gates — brilliantly merged the ancient mashrabiya design with an ultra-futuristic concept.
ALSO READ: Meet the 12-yr-old Indo-Belarusian girl who dazzled all at opening ceremony
The gates’ carbon-fibre strands are, in fact, as thin as paper at 10mm. And these filaments were meticulously woven in mashrabiya patterns, creating countless tiny spaces where air passes through across the gate.
“The is the largest mashrabiya ever built. This entry portal feels like it’s from the future but the fact is, it is from the past,” Khan told Khaleej Times in an exclusive interview.
One gate is 21 metres high and 30 metres wide, but it weighs only 18 tonnes.
Khan stressed that such huge gates used to be built as cities’ entry portals in the early days. And since he wanted to add a futuristic touch, he aimed to create the thinnest, lightest and sturdiest gate while showcasing the tradition.
Three such gates are now making jaws drop — greeting every visitor who steps inside the world’s greatest show. They are also the last landmarks people would usually see.
ALSO READ:
Expo 2020 Dubai tickets: Prices, special offers, who can enter for free
Watch: Stunning timelapse video shows how Expo 2020 site rose from the desert
The mashrabiya filters the light and cools spaces and has long been a prominent pattern in the Arab household. “Mashrabiya is a cultural heritage of this region. [The Expo gates] show how it can be transformed in compatible with the future without diminishing its importance,” said the architect, whose brilliant designs have wowed the world. Among the structures he had conceptualised was the UK pavilion at the previous World Expo. He has been designing for the world fair for years now.
For Khan, with the completion of Expo 2020 Dubai’s gates, a mission was accomplished and all the hard work was worth it.
“It was a challenging task to bring this extraordinary spectacle to life,” he said.
Khan’s team worked with a number of experts for the project. “We pushed to the absolute limit of structural engineering and science. We approached F1 car engineers, as they deal with carbon fibre, to make it happen. But that did not suffice.
“We then had to work with engineers from the aeronautical industry that deals with carbon fibre components and work with light-weight solar power planes,” he added.
They went the extra mile to ensure that the entry portals will convey the Expo’s vision of history meeting the future.
Besides the gates, other major installations at the venue came from Asif Khan Studios in London. Khan had been tasked with designing the entire 6km of the Expo’s public realm — which refers to all external urban spaces, walkways, canopies, benches, surrounding trees and lights, among others.
It was certainly a big projecy, he said, as he had to design spaces where visitors will spend most of their time in.
“I wanted to do something that people will remember throughout their life and has the essence of Dubai’s tradition.”
Khan came to Dubai in the early 2017 to understand the culture, Arab tradition and roots, so he can create something extraordinary.
“The present expo 2020 venue was a desert during my first visit. I walked barefoot in that desert and ideas started pouring in.”
Khan has learnt countless lessons from his Expo experience, he said. “It is a privilege to be involved in one of the biggest events the world has ever witnessed.”
Closer look at Expo’s brilliantly designed public spaces
1. Walkways with a touch of Arabian weaving tradition
The pavement designed in stripes leads to the heart of site, Al Wasl Dome. At the interchange, Sadu weaving patterns are showcased. “The walkway cross over at many places, portraying the theme Connecting Minds, Creating the Future,” Khan said.
2. Benches of Arabic poetry
In designing them, Khan has taken inspiration from Dubai’s old souks.
A few sitting or resting places are quite unique, sculpted in the form of Arabic calligraphy. Words like hub which means ‘love’; karamah, dignity; alinsaniyah, humanity; and Alsalam, peace, can be found across the site.
“If a visitor sits on five of these benches, he/she can take a poetry with them.”
One bench was also crafted from a recycled dhow boat, which carries great significance in Arab tradition.
3. ‘Flying’ garden that offers a breathtaking view
The Garden in the Sky is a must-visit place. “Viewing the Expo from above is a great experience. It feels like the ground is being lifted,” Khan said. Here, visitors are raised to 55m above the ground to see a magical sight.
4. Lush greenery all around
Khan’s team carefully selected the locations for as many as 30,000 plants — and over 7,000 ghaf trees — for the site. They are now dotting the concourse and the walkways.
5. Not your ordinary lights
Expo lights mimic the colour of the sky in the evening and give a feeling of extended sunset by an extra hour, the architect said.
A few tubular lights were also designed and around 300 of these lights can be seen across the site. “These are carpet lights, which create an Arabian carpet pattern at night.”
They may look ‘futuristic’ but these entry portals are, in fact, from … READ MORE
Discussions on comprehensive agreement in the final stages READ MORE
Sky was painted in French colours in a stunning airshow performed by… READ MORE
With conference calls, we are all magically in the same eco-system:… READ MORE
Health ministry reveals new technological innovations at Gitex Global. READ MORE
Clinton’s fever and white blood cell count have normalised, doctor… READ MORE
Yuvraj Singh has apologised for the remarks he made on social media. READ MORE
Molnupiravir is set to become the first drug that patients could take … READ MORE
Bollywood: Aryan Khan tells NCB official he will work for the poor after his release
Dubai: Woman fined Dh2,000 for posting messages with husband on Instagram
UAE law: What are my options if my new employer is delaying visa processing?
UAE’s daily Covid-19 cases dip below 100 for first time in 565 days
Coronavirus: UAE reports 99 Covid-19 cases, 153 recoveries, 2 deaths
Kerala: Death toll rises to 14, yellow alert issued in 11 districts
Covid-19: Schools not allowed to make kids’ jabs mandatory, says Adek
UAE: Restaurant shut down for flouting food safety rules
Covid-19: Saudi Arabia starts operating airports at full capacity
Dubai: Soon, pay for car parking through WhatsApp
All new KT app
is available
for download:
Get the latest news around the world in your inbox, so you dont miss out on the action.

source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.