Finland tops out its snow-themed expo pavilion

Finland is one of the first countries to complete structural works on its sustainable expo pavilion

Sustainability and the circular economy were at the heart of discussions during the topping out ceremony for Finland’s pavilion at Expo 2020 on 11 February.

Finland has completed the structural works for its Snow Cape pavilion, with a firm focus on ‘green’ for the construction, operations and decommissioning phases of the project.

The Snow Cape pavilion is located within Expo 2020 Dubai’s Mobility district.

Finland Expo 2020 pavilion

The majority of materials beng used in the construction of Finland’s pavilion are sourced from the local market

The concept, design, planning and execution have been undertaken by Finland-based JKMM Architects and Swiss construction specialist Expomobilia.

Finland says it is the first country in the world to create a national road map to a circular economy. Its presence at Expo 2020 adheres to these principles at various stages.

Severi Keinala, commissioner general of Finland at Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “With the exception of a limited number of Finnish materials being imported, Snow Cape is being built almost entirely using material from the local market, thereby reducing the environmental burden caused by unnecessary logistics and transportation.”

Up to 85 per cent of the materials used to build Snow Cape will be recycled and reused after Expo 2020 Dubai concludes in April 2021.

Steel, from which 28 per cent of the pavilion is formed, will be returned to supplier German Steel for repurposing. The same will apply to mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) equipment used on site. The tensile fabric used in the facade of the pavilion will be recycled into handbags.

Dietmar Kautschitz, chief customer officer at Expomobila, said: “The concept of temporary structures was very new for companies here in Dubai. We have been following this on our projects in Europe, but it was initially a challenge [in Dubai] to explain the idea of dismantling and reusing.

“We also had to make sure we worked with local suppliers. But we are very happy to have found the best contractors, suppliers and MEP company to make this happen.”

Superstructure work on the pavilion began on 26 August 2019

Expomobilia, which specialises in creative exhibition solutions, was awarded the design, build and dismantling contract for the pavilion towards the end of 2018. It is part of a consortium that includes Finland’s JKMM Architects and Factor Nova, the US’ FiveCurrents and UAE-based Beyond Limits.

Cimolai Rimond was hired as the main contractor in the second quarter of 2019, while OxyPro Technical Service was awarded the MEP contract.

Among the 100 Finnish companies participating in Expo 2020, there are 40 partner companies including Nokia, Business Finland, Kone and Halton Group. Many of these companies have also been actively involved in the construction of the Finnish pavilion. 

The pavilion elevators and sliding doors for the exhibition and VIP areas will be provided by Kone and will be repurposed following the expo.

Halton Group will provide an air ventilation system inside the main exhibition and gorge areas based on low-velocity air diffusers, providing cool and fresh air in the human-level zone up to a height of three metres.

Facade and fit-out works on Snow Cape are ongoing and are scheduled to be completed over the summer.



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