Singapore pavilion at Expo 2020 designed to highlight greenery - GulfToday

Singapore pavilion at Expo 2020 designed to highlight greenery


Picture used for illustrative purposes only.

Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter

Singapore has unveiled its pavilion with its well-ventilated spaces surrounded by lush greenery, assured visitors it would be a safe place to visit during the pandemic.

Built on 1,550 square metres – among the smallest plots at the Expo – the structure is designed to integrate greenery and show that buildings do not have to displace nature.

One of the smallest countries in the world and classified as a city-state, Singapore will be a prime illustration at the Expo2020Dubai, of how physical limitations and scarce resources become no barriers for the betterment and resilience of a people.

This, as the Singapore Pavilion, all at a 1,550-square metre plot in the Sustainability District of the Middle East’s first World Expo, south of Dubai, will be reflective of the nation’s commitment and journey towards sustainable living amidst the global horrible effects of man’s uncaring attitude towards Mother Nature.

With the theme “Nature. Nurture. Future,” the three-storey structure, will bear the “Sustainability Story” of the Southeast Asian country which was able to transform itself from being a Garden City to City in a Garden and now onwards to City in Nature. Central would be the Singaporeans and residents for human resources development is a vital factor in a country’s heritage and nation-building (nurture). Featured are innovative urban solutions bolstered by continuing smart concepts and inventions (future) aligned with environmental preservation (nature).

On Tuesday morning, direct from Singapore and through the online media roundtable, Singapore Pavilion Commissioner General Larry Ng said the pavilion, situated at the Sustainability District is apt since long-lasting and long-term solutions have become their ethos: “This discusses the ways we can live in balance with the environment.”

The architect by profession with 20 years of being a public servant involved in the master planning of townships, high-rise public housing and studio apartments for the elderlies, added: “(This is important) because the issues we face today from the ongoing pandemic and changing climate, to urban problems, pollution, and overcrowding can be attributed to humanity’s natural desire for growth, to expand, and growing the cities we live in which comes at the detriment to the environment.”

“These issues affect everyone and we want the Singapore Pavilion to help further conversations on how proper utilisation of urban innovations can play a role in creating the cities of the future in a sustainable as they are liveable and resilient,” Ng also said. He was hopeful that their participation and consequent interactions with Expo2020Dubai visitors generate deep collaborations, as a possible green future is achievable.

Principal pavilion designer is WOHA founded in 1994 by Wong Mun Summ and Richard Hassell. It has been responsible for 50 projects in Southeast Asia, China, and Australia. It creatively combines nature and the environment-friendly systems within residential towers, public housing estates, mass transit stations, hotels and cultural institutions.

On the Gulf Today question regarding the pavilion using the regenerative approach towards net-zero emission, Wong said this has to do with biodiversity. Thus, environment-friendly, it is designed to be a self-sufficient ecosystem throughout the six-month global event wherein the uppermost third deck that will serve as the Sky Market (cultural/social/business centre) is covered by solar panels while desalination of saline groundwater becomes a principal tool for energy use and management.

Moreover, Wong Mun Summ said the pavilion in three-dimensional effect is an “open“ infrastructure and “vertical greenery” abundant with Arabian desert and Singaporean trees, creepers or vines and flowers, particularly orchids. The star would be the Vanda Joachim orchid, Singapore’s national flower.

Expo 2020 Dubai is the first world exposition being held in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. Under the theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, it will bring together people and ideas from across the world under a single platform to inspire innovations and seek solutions to make the world a better place. Delayed by a year, the Expo promises to be a better and bigger experience for visitors. Organisers are expecting an estimated 25 million visits during the six-month period between October 1 and March 31.

The UAE will host the mega event with tight COVID-19 precautionary measures and a safe environment where about 90 per cent of the population have been vaccinated against COVID-19, positioning the country among the top five nations in vaccine distribution rate.

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