Expo 2020 Dubai: Al Wasl Plaza is my best work ever, says designer Gordon Gill.
30 October 2021, 12:00 AM
30 November 2021, 12:00 AM
Al Wasl Plaza can be called a truly global masterpiece, as skilled professionals from different corners of the world were involved in its design and construction.
Al Wasl and Expo 2020’s logo, which was inspired by a ring in the sands of Dubai’s Saruq Al Hadid, is a spirit that will live for years to come in the form of a permanent installation.
Gill, design partner at Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, is the man behind the iconic dome. He had to "push to extreme limits of technology, architecture and engineering" to pull it off.
“When we were told to design the centre of the Expo, we knew had to do something unique, something that the world hasn’t seen,” Gill said.
“Al Wasl is shaped like a dome - what we see in ancient architecture,” said Gill.
Gill's team also faced many technological challenges to integrate the projectors, acoustics and lights.
Another interesting feature of the dome is the Oculus (the centre opening). In the olden days, the Oculus marked time, depending on the movement of the light rays. “That is classic architecture form throughout the history of mankind,” he said.
The dome takes on a different hue thrice a day, with night being the most happening - all thanks to technology.
“While designing the plaza, we decided that the public space should have a different aspect. The dome embraces different personalities during the day and transforms into another level at night. In the evenings, you can witness the shadow that it casts on the UAE Pavilion - it’s just amazing,” said Gill.
Gill said the plaza was ready to host the event in 2020, but what has added to its attraction are the plants and tree within the dome, which grew and settled in the past year.