While Dubai Expo has plenty of eye-catching structures, the lush greenery of Singapore Pavilion is something that cannot be missed.
Built around huge plant-covered cones, this pavilion is nowhere a traditional enclosed building, and substitutes walls with a green belt of trees and plants that are capable of creating their own microclimate, which makes it standout.
The visitors are required to enter through a garden which feels like an oasis in the desert, and is a true reflection of Singapore’s reputation as ‘City in Nature’. This serves as a corner of peace amid the bustline expo.
Detailing the pavilion, Phua Hong Wei, Director of WOHA, said “It’s not just a pavilion filled with greenery. It showcases the co-existence of architecture and nature. It demonstrates that buildings can be designed as a responsible, sustainable environment, achieving net-zero energy and water in the desert. It becomes a prototype with strategies that are scalable and adaptable from buildings to cities.”
There are three nine-metre tall cones that serve as thematic areas, under the shade of a hanging garden. The ‘city cone’ narrates the growth of urban areas and the challenges that threaten the natural world. The ‘rainforest cone’ contains high density of plants imported from Singapore, resembling that of a jungle, while the ‘Flower Cone’ is a myriad of orchids.
The structure is designed as a series of linked systems, inspired by nature. A canopy over the top, with more than solar 517 panels, generates clean energy that powers everything. Water is drawn from the ground and desalinated to irrigate the plants and provide cooling via mist fans; these use high-pressure nozzles to create a fine mist that lowers the perceived temperature by 6 to 10 degrees Celsius, keeping the pavilion cool in the desert without using air conditioning.
How the green technology works?
The canopy over the top has more than 517 solar panels, which generate clean energy that powers everything. Water is sourced from the ground and desalinated to irrigate the plants and provides cooling through mist fans. This keeps the pavilion cool in the desert, even without an air conditioning.
The greenery that covers the ground, walls, and ceiling acts as a natural surface to cool the temperature and filter the air. It reminds us that although humans are part of larger ecosystem, we cannot ignore the impact cause by human actions to the planet. The covid pandemic has reminded us how valuable the nature is, and how we have to actively and urgently take care of the environment. Hence, the pavilion tries to indicate how the buildings should give back and make a positive impact on the environment.
According to Phua, the technologies used in the pavilion can be adopted in other buildings too, even at a city-wide scale. By incorporating nature into buildings and cities, we can protect our natural spaces, flora and fauna and it helps fight the climate change.