Come October, visitors to the Indian pavilion of Expo 2020 Dubai will see a proud demonstration of how far we have come as a country and what the future holds. Unlike previous expositions, this time, India will have one of the largest pavilions at the event, on par with the US and China.
“With nearly one lakh sq ft space, the pavilion includes a multistory building that has space for B2B meetings, socio-cultural events and digital exhibits,” says Dikshu Kukreja, Managing Principal, CP Kukreja Architects (CPKA). The Delhi-based firm has been selected as the Principal Architects to design the pavilion. This year, over 191 countries will be participating at Expo 2020 Dubai.
“In earlier times, we restricted ourselves to showcasing only the crafts of India. But this year, the government wants to present a holistic view of India, which shows our connect with our past but also our transition into a progressive modern nation. Themed on opportunity, sustainability and mobility, the pavilion will show how India is ready for the world,” says Kukreja.
A part of the design plan is a kinetic façade which will keep changing, and will tell India’s story through the different lenses of technology, tradition, trade, talent and tourism. Through 600 individual movable blocks on the façade, India’s 75th year of Independence will be celebrated through 75 stories from different parts of the country. In the evening, the façade will turn into a vibrant show with sound, light and projections. Campaigns of the government, which include Make in India, Digital India, Skill India and Start-Up India, will be the key highlights.
With the opening ceremony at Al Wasl Plaza, the Expo will begin on October 1 and run till March 31, 2022. “Across these 26 weeks, at the pavilion, besides leading corporates from India, each state will also present its story. A lot of exhibits will be digital, and to keep the curiosity and interest alive, we will change them every week,” says Kukreja.
Speaking about the architecture of the pavilion, he says, it would take cues from the past in a building like the Jantar Mantar, which is modern in its essence, and from the chakra on the Indian flag, which will be an architectural element. The material used will be sandstone. London firm Muse is an associate consultant for the interior exhibits and display.
“It’s a proud demonstration of what India is all about and it’s our attempt to capture that from a design point of view. We want to present the diversity of India at multiple levels,” says Kukreja.