MEAN* Designs Spatial Forest Of 3D Printed Concrete For Expo 2020 Dubai

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Project description provided by MEAN*: Our ‘Expo 2020 Landmark’ proposal amalgamates technology, innovation, and sustainability into an iconic structure that serves as a welcoming icon to the event.

Drawing inspiration from the story of the Expo 2020 Logo and the palms of the UAE, we designed an interactive installation that symbolizes the ethos of Sustainability and Innovation. Designed to be assembled at the Boulevard Roundabouts of the site, the 8-meter structure soars high revealing a walk-through spatial forest of 3D Printed Concrete elements that resemble Palm Trees and are fitted with branching LED lights. The structure can be viewed from the cars circling around the roundabout upon which it sits, or enjoyed by exploring the spaces between the 3D Printed ‘Palms’ towards an open space.

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Based on the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, we aspire to make Dubai the 3D Printing Capital of the World. We have designed a structure specifically for 3D printing in concrete. Robotically 3D Printed Concrete construction has been lauded for 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. We believe that Expo 2020 would be a fantastic platform to showcase the possibilities of this emerging construction technology to the world.

The elements generate energy during daytime hours via the transparent, bespoke solar panels attached to their tops. Activeskeen TM Aesthetic Photovoltaics are specified for this intent. At night, the concrete 3D printed elements become animated with various lighting modes, welcoming the visitors to the event. The footings of the concrete elements are fitted with hidden LED lighting, that is programmed to glow with various patterns.

The Expo 2020 Landmark is designed for longevity in the harsh desert climate with very little maintenance. Taking its inspiration from bio-mimetic performance, It is a self reliant energy generator that absorbs abundant Sun energy to power itself. The solar panels are fitted around 360° at the center of the roundabouts, to capture the maximum amount of energy throughout the day, and tilted to expel sand from sandstorms.

The 3D Printed Shell components can be cast in site with UHPC (Ultra High Performance Concrete) to effectively withstand the shear symbolizes forces acting upon them. 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.

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All images with courtesy of MEAN*

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