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MEAN Designs 3D Printed Concrete Roundabout Pavilion for Expo 2020 Dubai

I stumbled across this article on Linkedin and think it is worth it to share.

The founder of MEAN (Middle Eastern Architecture Network) is Riyad Joucka and he came to my school at KADK in Copenhagen to teach us and tell us about his work. I always remember when he came because he was not much older than us and what an inspiration for young architects studying innovation in architecture.




MEAN* or Middle East Architectural Network has proposed an intervention for Expo 2020 Dubai. The Boulevard Roundabout Pavilion, an 8-meter structure, will be an unmissable iconic proposal that welcomes the public to the world event.



Inspired by the story of the Expo 2020 Logo and the palms of the UAE, the architectural firm conceived an “interactive installation that symbolizes the ethos of Sustainability and Innovation”. Assembled on-site, the project puts in place a walk-through spatial forest of 3D printed concrete elements, cast with UHPC or Ultra-High-Performance Concrete, resembling palm trees and fitted with branching LED lights. Experienced by foot, or viewed from cars, the roundabout offers a new approach to an urban element. The spaces between the 3D printed palms lead the visitor towards an open space.



"Our Expo 2020 Landmark proposal amalgamates technology, innovation, and sustainability into an iconic structure that serves as a welcoming icon to the event. […] The Expo 2020 Landmark structure is designed to serve as a reminder that the World’s Fair site is built for generations to come, an urban connection between Dubai and Abu Dhabi and a model of the innovative cities of the future. -- MEAN*"




MEAN*, the Innovative Architecture Practice that works at the nexus of design and emergent technologies, founded by Riyad Joucka, utilizes computer programming, robotics, 3D printing, AR, VR, and CNC manufacturing to leverage their architectural work. The project that aims to consolidate Dubai’s status as the 3D capital of the world, generated a robotically 3D Printed Concrete construction, “saving on material waste by reducing the amount of form-work involved in the process of casting, as well as providing a cleaner construction site, all while allowing for a higher degree of complexity in design”.





Using Expo 2020 as a platform to showcase the possibilities of this emerging construction technology to the world, the project is “a self-reliant energy generator that absorbs abundant Sun energy to power itself”. Its elements produce energy during daytime whereas at night they become animated with various lighting modes, glowing with various patterns.


I am very much looking forward to seeing how the Dubai Expo 2020 will be if this will be built and even more exciting is that a friend of mine was working with Aecom on the masterplan of the Expo 2020 and what she said sounded super cool, very innovative, 3D printed landscape and interactive environment.


But as we all know with architecture... let's see what and how it will be realised.


Until next...


The_Icelandic_Architect