The Indian Pavilion is the tallest at Expo 2020 Dubai and reflects the inspiring culture of India. Delhi-based CP Kukreja Architects pays homage, with the theme ‘India on the move’, showcasing the cultural multifariousness of the country whilst nurturing the idea of India as a place of great opportunities and growth. The façade of the pavilion uses 600 individual blocks that move using kinetic architecture. Through these blocks the visitor get to see 75 different stories, celebrating 75 years of independence of India. These stories will familiarize the visitors with the history, geography, and literature of the country. At night, the façade will turn into a vibrant show with sound, ligh, and projections, almost as if hosting a festival.
The trapezoidal site has been designed to create visual memorabilia and utilize the land to its full potential. The site has been planned to condense the vastness of India’s culture and cityscape within it. Design elements such as the radiant sun-dial and the elaborate amphitheater are seamlessly tied into a single harmonious unit.
Sustainability is one of the key design features, integrating the climatological influences of the region with technology. The chakra is designed using steel construction with modular steel members that can be recycled. Movement in the façade helps control factors such as sunlight and wind inside the Pavilion which is helpful in regulation of natural daylight and ventilation. Skylight has been used to optimize natural daylight in the interiors. Solar panels have been installed on the terrace, to utilize the maximum out of Dubai’s climate.
“The pavilion design as an architectural process is quite novel in that a single architect designed 82 different design options for the pavilion. The process began three years ago in September 2018. There were so many possibilities to represent India in a single pavilion. And, of course, the design had to go through the many stakeholders and government officials involved right up to the Prime Minister’s office. The whole process took six months.”
Dikshu Kukreja, Harvard graduate and Managing Principal CPKA
The interiors of the pavilion have been designed to make the experience inclusive and interactive for the visitors by employing the use of the latest cutting-edge and innovative technologies. The visitors will get to witness both physical exhibits as well as immersive digital content which would showcase various sectors in the thriving Indian economy. Programs such as Make in India, Digital India, Skill India, and Start-Up India campaigns have been featured as the key highlights, displaying the country’s capabilities at an international level.
The experience inside the pavilion is designed under eleven themes. Inside the building, visitors can experience and learn about India’s journey in space exploration, yoga, Ayurveda, and Indian heritage. The second floor displays India as a land of endless opportunities. A state-of-the-art theatre hall will be available for meetings, conferences, cultural shows, reception as well as film screenings.
The India Pavilion amplifies the country’s position on the global map as a thriving hub of limitless possibilities integrating futuristic approach and mobility while projecting the Indian story in a global narrative.
Location: Dubai, UAE
Site: 1.2 acres
Built-up area: 1, 00, 000 sq. ft.
Year of completion: 2021
Principal Architect: C P Kukreja Architects
Project Management Contract (PMC): NBCC DWC-LLC
Business Facilitators: Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI)
Client/ Owner: Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India
Interior fit-outs: Muse International
Digital Content curation: Moving Pixels