ARCHITECT: FOSTER + PARTNERS

What: One of the largest pavilions at the Shanghai Expo is that of the United Arab Emirates, which was designed by the British architects Foster + Partners. Taking inspiration from a sand dune, an iconic feature of the desert landscape shared by each of the seven emirates, the pavilion appears smooth on one side (like the side of a sand dune that bears the full force of the wind) and rough and textured on the other side. Its stainless steel skin has been treated to appear golden and changes colour depending on where it is viewed from.

Inside, the pavilion showcases some of the many projects currently under construction in the United Arab Emirates. Focusing on the landscape and climate of the UAE, which is integral to Emirati culture, the contents includes the Masdar Initiative, a new zero waste community in Abu Dhabi.