23 JUNE 2021, SINGAPORE — Singapore’s innovative urban solutions and culture will be presented on the global stage at the upcoming World Expo, which will be held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022. Situated within the Sustainability District of the Expo 2020 Dubai – the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region – the Singapore Pavilion will present a microcosm of the nation’s transformed landscape.
Underscoring Singapore’s vision of shaping itself into a liveable, sustainable and resilient city of the future through the smart integration of design, technology and nature, the Pavilion will profile Singapore’s experience and expertise in developing and implementing urban innovations and showcase the country’s continued commitment towards building a sustainable future. It also serves as a platform for the cross-pollination of ideas to build future cities that balances the needs of their people and environments.
Designed by Singapore-based architectural practice WOHA, the Singapore Pavilion represents the nation’s efforts to be a City in Nature, and how this vision can also be realised anywhere through smart and sustainable urban solutions.
This vision unfurls itself through the different spaces of the Pavilion that visitors can explore.
Upon entering the Ground Garden, visitors will be welcomed by a garden landscape, with a phytoremediation pond nestled among a lush array of plants, trees, shrubs, including Singapore’s national flower, the Vanda Miss Joaquim orchid. Boasting an open plan, the architecture interacts seamlessly with the environment, helping visitors to envision how nature can be integrated and restored in urban settings.
Artist impressions of the Singapore Pavilion (left) and Ground Garden (right)
As visitors make their way into the Singapore Pavilion, they will journey through three verdant thematic cones – Rainforest Cone, City Cone and Flower Cone and Rainforest Cone – each housing key exhibits that showcase Singapore’s transformational journey, solutions to urban issues, as well as efforts in creating a sustainable future for our people. The three cones are connected by a meandering, gently-sloping Canopy Walk capped with a hanging garden of draping vines, re-creating the atmosphere of the lush tropical urban landscape of Singapore.
The meandering Canopy Walk (left) brings visitors on an experiential journey around and through the cones to the Sky Market (right)
The design of the spaces in the Pavilion is not the only ode to sustainability. To reflect the country’s guiding ethos of sustainable development, the Pavilion which is built on a small 1,550-square-metre site, is designed to have minimal impact to the environment through its lifecycle. It is designed to be a self-sufficient ecosystem, to achieve net-zero energy during the six-month event period via the use of solar panels, management of energy and desalination of saline groundwater.
The Pavilion showcases how the built environment can help to increase biodiversity, provide more space for trees and other greenery, and play a pivotal part in combating climate change, even in a desert environment. It also integrates landscaping into its design, showing that the built environment does not need to displace nature but can, in fact, co-exist with it.
The regenerative design approach aims to repair and restore the ecosystem and biodiversity, and to create an environment in which humans can live harmoniously with nature. The architecture combines technological and natural systems, with nodes and layers forming symbiotic relationships between engineering, technology, plant life and organic processes. Echoing Singapore’s vision of becoming a City in Nature, the Pavilion demonstrates the seamless integration and co-existence of nature and buildings and shows a captivating and forward-looking Singapore that is sociable, sustainable and liveable, via its delightful, relaxing spaces where visitors can unwind and connect with nature. Refer to Annex A for more information on the highlights of the Singapore Pavilion.
Mr. Larry Ng, Commissioner-General of the Singapore Pavilion said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how quickly it can change the way people live, work and play. In the face of critical challenges and disruptions facing the world today, it is important for nations to come together and find a way forward to build cities that sensitively adapt to tomorrow’s challenges. The World Expo serves as an opportune platform for this collaboration, and the Singapore Pavilion is our contribution to this concerted international effort, serving as a viable and scalable proposition for shaping cities of the future.”
Commenting further, Ng said, “Being a country limited by land size and natural resources, it is crucial for Singapore to constantly innovate to stay ahead of the urban and environmental challenges of our time. The regenerative design framework of the Singapore Pavilion is an embodiment of how the nation has continued to overcome its physical limitations and be a liveable, sustainable and resilient city.”
Beyond facilitating the exchange of ideas and collaboration with partners around the world, the Pavilion provides an inviting space for international visitors to learn more about Singapore’s multi-faceted offerings that spring from the various communities that call it home.
The Sky Market, an open platform located on the top floor of the Pavilion, is a convivial area for visitors to learn more about the different facets of Singapore’s culture. It will house various programmes such as talks, workshops, and movie screenings for visitors to enjoy, and get a glimpse into Singapore’s social and cultural histories.
The Singapore Pavilion also celebrates the spirit of ingenuity, creativity and entrepreneurism embodied by Singaporeans. Local brands, ranging from heritage ones to up-and-coming labels, will tell their stories at the Singapore Pavilion, presenting the best of Singapore’s food and design culture on the global stage. They will be featured at the Galleria, which displays the specially curated retail pieces inspired by the Pavilion so that visitors are able to bring home a piece of Singapore.
The Sky Market (left) and Galleria (right)
For instance, local brands celebrating traditional delicacies, Coffee Break and Gardens You Tiao, will be serving up a typical Singaporean breakfast of traditional kopi (traditional local coffee), paired with dough snacks such as You Tiao (deep-fried bread sticks), and sweet potato and tapioca fritters; whereas the chefs at 111-year-old Jumain Sataysfaction will whet visitors’ appetites with their traditional chicken, mutton and beef satay, served with fresh cucumber and their signature peanut sauce - capturing the essence of the nation’s vibrant and irresistible food culture.
Also at the forefront is Singapore’s creativity and design, with homegrown artisans such as Onlewo and Pew Pew Patches displaying lifestyle goods and collectibles that illustrate Singapore’s multicultural heritage, through their exquisite craftsmanship and unique designs; as well as The Art Faculty - a social enterprise by Autism Resource Centre (Singapore) that is dedicated to showcasing and honouring the unique talents of artists on the spectrum. These talented artisans have crafted items inspired by and in response to the Singapore Pavilion’s design, giving visitors a glimpse into how they view the world around them. Refer to Annex B for more information on the participating brands to date.
(From left to right) Available at the Pavilion are local snacks such as satay from Jumain Sataysfaction, and local collectibles such as embroidered patches from Pew Pew Patches and specially designed vases from The Art Faculty
The Singapore Pavilion is currently in its final phase of construction and is scheduled to be completed ahead of the Expo 2020 Dubai opening. When it opens, the Pavilion experience will also be presented on online platforms, given current travel restrictions and safe management measures, for more to take part in the programmes. Refer to Annex C for more information on the team behind the Singapore Pavilion.
About the Singapore Pavilion
The Singapore Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai pays tribute to Singapore’s journey towards growth, sustainability and resilience. Titled “Nature. Nurture. Future.”, this net-zero energy building presents a microcosm of the nation’s transformed landscape to visitors. Designed as a multi-layered forest in the middle of a desert, the Singapore Pavilion will showcase Singapore’s strengths and expertise, and highlight how the country rises above its physical limitations to continue to strive towards liveability, sustainability and resilience through innovative urban solutions.
About Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) is Singapore's land use planning and conservation agency. Our mission is ‘to make Singapore a great city to live, work and play’. We strive to create an endearing home and a vibrant city through long-term planning and innovation, in partnership with the community.
URA’s multi-faceted role includes being the main government land sales agent. We attract and channel private capital investments to develop sites that support planning, economic and social objectives. We also partner the community to enliven our public spaces to create a car-lite, people-friendly and liveable city for all to enjoy. In shaping a distinctive city, URA also promotes architecture and urban design excellence. Visit www.ura.gov.sg for more information.