EXPO 2020: Cologne creativity and Swiss construction expertise for Dubai

facts and fiction and ADUNIC win German Pavilion bid

In a key milestone on the road to EXPO 2020 Dubai, Germany has decided who is to design and build the German Pavilion. The bid was won by a consortium comprising Cologne-based agency facts and fiction and Swiss construction company ADUNIC, with architecture to be designed by Berlin firm LAVA.

While facts and fiction will be responsible for content, exhibition and media design, building the pavilion will be ADUNIC’s job. facts and fiction specialises in spatial communication and ADUNIC are specialists in the construction of temporary buildings. As well as matching both companies’ profiles, the brief reflects the essence of Expos, which are all about giving those who visit during the short six months of the event an Expo experience that stays with them forever. “We’re delighted to have won the German Pavilion contest,” says Dietmar Jähn, a managing director at facts and fiction, commenting on the selection committee’s decision. “It’s a dream come true and a great honour for us to have our concept chosen to represent Germany at the EXPO in Dubai.”

An EU-wide notice of tender was published back in September 2017, inviting teams to apply to design the concept and to plan and build the interior and exterior of the German Pavilion for EXPO 2020 Dubai. The brief also included the technical management of the pavilion during the World Expo from 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021 and the dismantling of the pavilion after the event. Initially, applicants were asked to draw up a high-level concept. This was followed by a second phase, in which a 17-member selection committee (made up of representatives of various federal ministries, trade/industry associations and experts on Expo and regional matters) chose five interdisciplinary teams to put through to the next phase – the design of a detailed concept for the German Pavilion.

“The awarding of the contract to facts and fiction and ADUNIC marks the end of a ten-month process. We are happy that things can now progress and building work can start on our plot in Dubai next year,” says Dietmar Schmitz from Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. As Commissioner General of the German Pavilion, Mr Schmitz is responsible for the country’s presence in Dubai. He is head of the "Policy on fairs and exhibitions, expo participations" division at the Ministry and has been involved in World Exhibitions across the globe over the course of many years.

The two partners in the German Pavilion consortium are no newcomers to Expo either. facts and fiction designed the Monaco and Kazakhstan pavilions in Milan in 2015 as well as the German presence at EXPO 2012 in the Korean city of Yeosu. ADUNIC built a number of the pavilions in Milan in 2015.

New to Expo is LAVA, an international team of architects with offices in Berlin, Stuttgart and Sydney and a wealth of experience, having worked on a wide variety of major projects around the world. In the Middle East, for instance, LAVA helped plan the Masdar eco city in Abu Dhabi and also designed the architecture for the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

facts and fiction and ADUNIC were selected on the basis of the tender criteria. The main requirement was to take the EXPO theme of “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” and the sustainability subtheme chosen by Germany and translate them into a pavilion concept that will grasp visitors’ interest and hold it from start to finish while also creating a seamless marriage between the pavilion’s architecture and its content.

But all has not yet been revealed. The concept will not be presented in Germany until a press conference at Koelnmesse in Cologne on 4 September 2018, to be followed by a second press conference at the Steigenberger Hotel Business Bay in Dubai on 19 September. Koelnmesse is the company that will be organising and running the German Pavilion at the 2020 World Expo in Dubai on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

facts and fiction and ADUNIC win German Pavilion bid