Under the theme “A World in One Country”, the Portugal Pavilion encapsulates our nation’s multicultural spirit, Portugal’s trajectory of discovery and its ever-present connection to the sea. The vision for the Pavilion is brought to life by Saraiva + Associados and Grupo Casais with a bold architectural design, split into two structural concept lines.
The Caravel, as an iconic symbol of Portugal’s connection with the world, the genesis of globalization, conveys our pioneering nature and our capacity to blend and forge bonds with diverse civilizations. As if defying the laws of gravity, it rises from the ground, indicating the urgency of new paths, new journeys. The verticality of the reinterpreted sails embraces the wind as the driving force in our pursuit of adventure.
The Square, as the epitome of a meeting place and sharing, invokes Portuguese values of openness, diversity and inclusion. Its open area is an invitation for new encounters, exchanges and opportunities.
Our architectural approach naturally intertwines with the global theme of Expo 2020 Dubai “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”. Indeed, the Portugal Pavilion stands as a symbol of history and cultural interaction, yet it also makes a strong appeal to modernity, innovation and technological development.
Sitting at the heart of the “Sustainability” thematic district, the Pavilion highlights Portugal’s commitment to building a sustainable future. Its functional design, combined with the use of low-impact materials, should allow for high levels of energy efficiency, low levels of CO2 emission and reduced water consumption.
The Portugal Pavilion spans over 1,800 square meters, with each space revealing unique elements that together paint a picture of Portuguese identity and tradition. The patterns of black and white limestone gracefully decorate the Square and transport visitors to the traditional Portuguese pavement “Calçada Portuguesa”; the art of the Azulejo shows the unmistakable Arabic origins of Portugal’s hand-painted tiles; and our world-famous cork is shaped into furniture and outdoor seating areas as a shining example of innovation.
The Pavilion is built over three floors that split into four conceptual areas: Presentation, Reception, Experience, and Relationship.
The ground floor is treated as an extension of the public space and introduces visitors to the theme of Portugal’s participation. It includes an informal event space, a small cafeteria, a protocol area and the Portugal Concept Store.
The first floor encloses the Exhibition, divided into an immersive multimedia experience and an interactive space that guides visitors through a journey of Diversity, Sustainability and Opportunity.
The second floor features the Restaurant and terrace, with panoramic views over Jubilee Park, and a multi-purpose area that takes on various configurations and can serve as a stage for outdoor events.
Over the years
The Portuguese Pavilion throughout the previous World Fairs
THE GREAT EXHIBITIONPortugal was present at the very first Expo, the Great Exhibition of 1851, in London, and has continued to participate regularly ever since. In this defining event of the 19th century, the country made considerable efforts to showcase its natural resources by sharing traditional items, lithographs and agricultural products.
The Oceans: a heritage for the FutureTo commemorate the 500th anniversary of Vasco da Gama's arrival in India, Portugal hosted Expo 1998 in Lisbon, under the theme: “The Oceans: A Heritage for the Future”. It proposed new ethics in humans’ relationship with nature and elevated the topic of the oceans as a priority for the global political arena. With the participation of 143 nations and 14 international organizations, the Expo was a success, attracting over 10 million visitors.
HUMANKIND – NATURE – TECHNOLOGYIn Hannover, the Pavilion of Portugal was a notable reference point of Expo 2000 and is now an emblematic work that highlights Portuguese heritage using various materials native to Portugal, such as cork, tiles, viroc (cement-bonded wood-particle board), and Estremoz marble. It showed the inspiration of the sea with its 'wave' roof, unlike anything else in the world. After the Expo in Hannover, the infrastructure was transferred to Coimbra. It took about 12 sea containers and 8 months to reassemble the pavilion.
NATURE’S WISDOMAs the first western country to encounter Japan, Portugal brought to Expo 2005 Aichi the theme ``Nature and History: Portugal where the earth ends and the ocean begins``. The Portuguese Pavilion showcased the country's history, gastronomy, its relations with the Far East and, in line with main theme of the Expo, the most recent projects for the development of natural resources and international cooperation.
WATER AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENTWith the element of water at the heart of Expo 2008, Portugal’s most iconic rivers – Douro, Tagus and Guadiana – represented the theme of Portugal’s participation and the country’s strong connection to Spain. With more than 1,000 square meters, the Portuguese Pavilion was elected the event’s fifth largest and presented forward-thinking strategies for water resource management and sustainable development.
BETTER CITY, BETTER LIFE“Better City, Better Life” was the overarching theme of Expo 2010 Shanghai. Portugal’s participation not only showcased the country as a cultural and commercial center, it highlighted the historic relations between Portugal and China, the national advances taken in terms of renewable energies and the environment. Our Pavilion sparked the curiosity of World Expo visitors and stood as an example of Portuguese innovation and sustainable practices. Entirely covered in cork – a national, recyclable and ecological material – the building was recognized with a “Design Award” by the International Exhibition Bureau.
It is with great honor that we see Portugal's participation in Expo Dubai 2020. This plural exhibition becomes even more relevant in the current context, allowing us to present to the world what is best produced in our country.
Viúva Lamego has over 170 years of history and know-how linked with Art and Architecture. Being represented at the Portuguese Pavilion makes us very honored and proud.
A fair like Expo 2020 Dubai is essential to show the grandeur, beauty, culture and art that exists in Portugal. It is to discover a World within a Country. At Maria João Bahia, we have this vision. To show the world how good, professional, authentic, and innovative our talent is.