Architecture, Dubai Expo 2020, Luxembourg Pavilion, Metaform

Architects behind Luxembourg pavilion for Expo 2020 opens Dubai office

Luxembourg-based architecture studio Metaform, who is behind the design of the Luxembourg pavilion for Expo 2020, has opened its Dubai office.

Located in Downtown Dubai, the regional subsidiary will focus on the realisation of the Expo pavilion, and will handle the daily business concerning the project; in addition to promoting the firm’s architecture in the Middle East.

“In the last couple of years, Metaform has grown by almost double, with upcoming new projects and several competitions wins. Subsequently, the ambitions were on the rise, and we were thinking of eventually expanding and taking on some new challenges,” said founder and partner, Shahram Agaajani.

“With the wining of the competition for Expo 2020 Dubai Luxembourg pavilion, the idea came very naturally: to set up our office in Dubai, from which we would control and manage the pavilion construction itself, and at the same time, which would be a new base for prospective new projects in the area,” he added.

Agaajani explained that the firm had been previously approached by investors from the region, but at the time the firm’s scope didn’t allow for the partnerships to move forward.

“At the time our scope was different. We were a smaller company, more locally focused on Luxembourg and its close surroundings. Now with our new growth, our larger experience and expertise, we are hoping to extend our services not only in Dubai, but also in the wider region, to combine our own knowledge with the local culture and ideas,” he said.

For the time being Metaform’s Dubai office will manage the Expo project, as well as create a dedicated space for the firm to grow its client and project base regionally.

Metaform Middle East is effectively in the beginning of its journey. At first, we are planning to use our premises to meet with potential clients and investors, and to manage our project for the Expo 2020. We are however ready to adapt accordingly to the size and proportion of potential projects and demands. Our goal is to ultimately develop a fully equipped and structured design office, from which we would also manage projects on site,” Agaajani said.

The theme designated for the Luxembourg’s pavilion is “Opportunity” and reflects the history of Luxembourg, as well as its present and future.

The formal composition of the pavilion is inspired by a Möbius strip, where the twisting and folding of a ribbon results in a single surface, with no beginning or end, symbolising an infinity, and in turn, the circular economy.

This allows the interior and exterior to blur, where the single face of the ribbon is at once a floor, a wall, and a ceiling, creating a multilayered “scenography canvas”.

The pavilion aims to engage visitors in understanding the landscape of Luxembourg which is mimicked by the spatial changes attributed to the pavilion, in terms of width, height, depth, view, and perspective.

Work on Expo 2020 Dubai country pavilions has been planned to start in April this year.