Architectural design is a leitmotif in Astrea’s latest posts, so let’s keep up with the ultimate news from the UAE.
Santiago Calatrava’s proposal was formally selected following a seven-month design competition managed by Masdar.
The contest, according to specific ideas, saw 9 of the world’s most renowned architectural firms submit 11 concepts.
The competitors had to face both the well-know theme of Dubai Expo 2020 “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” and also they had to maintain the balance between past and future in the UAE.
Located facing the Al Wasl Plaza, which is expected to cover up to 15,000 square meters, the UAE Pavilion will represent the UAE to the 25 million visitors and participants from over 180 nations who are expected to visit the Expo from October 2020 to April 2021.
The pavilion will, also, include numerous exhibition areas, an auditorium, food and beverage outlets and VIP lounges.
But, what exactly has in mind this bright architect? Well, a powerful symbol of Emirati and Arabian Gulf heritage and the national pet: the falcon.
Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of State and National Media Council chairman, said:
“The proposed design of the UAE Pavilion captures the story we want to tell the world about our nation. Now, the falcon design will symbolize how we are connecting the UAE to the minds of the world and how as a global community we can soar to new heights through partnership and cooperation.”
Reem Ebrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and director general of Expo 2020 Dubai, added:
“The pavilion will be one of the Expo’s greatest icons. The design will evoke the pioneering spirit and power of connections that transformed the UAE from a collection of small, desert communities, into a global connection point. The UAE pavilion will become an important cornerstone in our site and will have a legacy plan that will reflect our hopes and ambitions for the many years to come.”
Design for the UAE Pavilion for Dubai World Expo 2020: get to know this pet
Why a falcon-inspired design?
Falcons are, of course, not native to the UAE, but the history of Arabs and falconry is thousands of years old and can be traced back to 2000BC and the Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh.
The founding father His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan used falconry expeditions to forge connections between tribes and to create a distinct national identity which ultimately led to the founding of the United Arab Emirates. In fact, the hunting trips are not really about the kill.
It is more of a sport, where it inspires patience, self-reliance, endurance and team-work between the falcon and the falconer.
Falcon is the national bird of UAE and is a symbol of force and courage in fact The Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital (ADFH) is one of the most acclaimed pet hospital.
The falcon species has always been regarded as a very uncommon and shy bird, and it is very rarely met with by amateur birdwatchers.
The falcon is the national bird also of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman and several other countries, recognizing the importance of falconry in their tradition and culture. The Saker falcons and their prey houbara are held in high regard, reminiscent of the desert life that is now vanishing.
Falconry, like camel racing and horse riding, is tradition in most countries of the Middle East.
The primary purpose of falconry was hunting for fresh meat. Falconry, once an important means to supplement diet of inhabitants of the deserts of Middle East countries, is now enjoyed more as a traditional sport of hunting.
The more popular hunting falcons such as Peregrine and Saker are conventionally trapped during their autumn migration. They are used for hunting during the season and then released to the wild.