The Forest - The Swedish Pavilion at Expo 2020
Alessandro Ripellino Arkitekter, Studio Adrien Gardère & Luigi Pardo Architetti

The Forest - The Swedish Pavilion at Expo 2020 in Dubai

Alessandro Ripellino Arkitekter as Architects

The Forest is both a symbol and architecture. It is at the same time a Swedish emblem, an archetypal environment, and a place of retreat that fosters imagination and creativity; a growing and dynamic ecosystem, and a community of interconnected living beings.


Above all, the forest itself, as a growing ecosystem, has inspired our project as an exceptional symbol of co-creation and mutual-aid, mutual-support and mutual-respect. The forest forms a community sharing the same roots, a series of interconnected individuals functioning as a whole and overcoming constraints and ordeals together. The natural intelligence of “the wood-wide web” also represents an ideal symbol of sustainability, like a perfectly balanced ecosystem where every element plays a key role.


Thus, the forest appears as the ideal environment to wander and be immersed in creativity, innovation, and in connection to nature and the world.


Architecture and Space

The architectural dynamic of the pavilion is based on an open ground floor where visitors can wander in the forest and discover the exhibitions, while the private programs and conference spaces are suspended above, evoking the image of tree houses. The impression of an infinite forest landscape is reinforced by the use of mirrors that blur the spaces’ boundaries, like the mist of the forest. The various types of spaces hosting the programs of the pavilion are all inspired by the metaphor of the forest. This narrative logic, applied to the architectural and exhibition concepts and coupled with a minimal aesthetic, reinforces the visit as a total and unique experience.


Exhibition and content

Each exhibition area is inspired by a type of forest space - such as the clearing or the refuge - transforming the visit into an exploration and a series of unexpected experiences. We have imagined the exhibition as a place of free stroll and encounters. By wandering in the forest the visitors not only discover co-creation programs but also meet with the people involved in the projects and explore their creative process.


Material Used :

1. Lathed tree trunks - Pillars

2. Cross Laminated Timber elements & Glulam beams – Construction elements

3. Wooden screen – Solar shading, tree houses

4. Wood fibre panel – Facadecladding, tree houses

5. Reflective aluminium panel – Facade cladding, „the spine“

6. Solar panels – Facade cladding, service building & roof.

7. Structural glazing – Facade cladding, shop & café

8. Brass panels – Façade cladding, conference entrance

9. Limestone – Flooring, exhibition

Project story

Clear Lighting as Manufacturers

The Swedish pavilion, the Forest, was built entirely of wood, saving at least a thousand tons in carbon dioxide. The building is characterized by its structure of wooden pillars, sourced from the forests of Dalarna, which creates the impression of walking through a Swedish forest, while also acting as a kind of refuge for a growing ecosystem.

To make the "forest" come alive and look more enticing, the project manager decided to add lighting to the woods. Obviously in a wooden-made environment and a hot desert climate the Dubai desert is, a robust and safe product is a necessity.  The choice went to Flexglo™ F22 neon lights. The RGBW color options allow the lighting to vary based on what they want the woods to look like in a specific season. Also, the pixel LEDs enable the designers to create stunning dynamic lighting effect. 

By wandering in the forest the visitors not only discover co-creation programs but also meet with the people involved in the projects and explore their creative process.

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