As a design firm known for its ability to mix design and technology, it comes as no surprise that Paul Cocksedge Studio has made it onto the shortlist of entries for the UK Pavilion at Expo 2020 in Dubai. The colorful pavilion, which plays on the expo’s theme “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future,” is a delicate matrimony between sculpture and architecture.
The Living Watercolor Pavilion is composed of thousands of overlapping translucent glass disks. The colors of each participating country’s flag are incorporated, enveloping visitors in a calming kaleidoscope as they enter the structure. The sculptural piece appears to be an “impossible” living watercolor, with light and shade changing the environment throughout the day.
Design in collaboration with IDOM and Arup, the pavilion is meant to symbolize the harmony and unity that can occur when different countries come together. “We were drawn to the idea of looking outwards for inspiration,” shared Paul Cocksedge. “This informed the entire architecture of the pavilion, which we designed as a sculptural watercolor that plays with the natural environment to connect with people.”
Ultimately, Es Devlin was selected from hundreds of entries by leading designers to create the UK Pavilion. So while we, unfortunately, won’t see this magnificent design in Dubai, we can only hope the enchanting technique pops up in another project.
Over 130 countries have announced their participation in Expo 2020, which will open on October 20, 2020. Dubai beat out bids by São Paolo, Brazil; Izmir, Turkey; and Yekaterinburg, Russia to host the event. In support of the bid, Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum had this to say about the theme: “In today’s highly interconnected world, a renewed vision of progress and development based on shared purpose and commitment is key. While a married human mind, an individual country, or a specific community is both unique and remarkable, it is by working collaboratively that we truly advance.”