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Check Out The Malaysia Pavilion At Expo 2020 Dubai

By Hijjas Architects + Planners, it presents an eloquent vision in timber designed with net zero carbon in mind.

Recent World Expos have been watershed moments in Malaysia Pavilion design.

Liberated from conservative determinism that shackled previous iterations, these new constructs by premier practice Hijjas Architects + Planners are without a doubt of the era’s zeitgeist.

And at an expo touted to be the most sustainable ever, the firm has contrived to deliver its most eco-sensitive building yet.  


Both 2015 and 2020 national pavilions were competition-winning designs – the former a design-and-build project, the latter architecturally driven – that drew inspiration from Malaysia’s native rainforests.

Compared to the figurative seed-like forms of the 2015 pavilion, this year’s design is conceptually metaphorical.

“The client (Malaysian Green Technology and Climate Change Centre) had in the competition given a comprehensive brief with a core theme of energising sustainability. We worked with that and created a narrative of a canopy of trees,” explains the firm’s director Serina Hijjas.

Poised above a lower ground level, the three-storey pavilion is an elevated mass of interlocked objects, appearing suspended in mid-air courtesy of slender pilotis.

Expands Serina on their concept, “What immediately informed us was the site’s rectangular proportions.

“We could have easily built a box, but at the back of our minds we wanted something lightweight, something organic.

“So to have these forms elevated reinforces the idea of a building that touches the ground lightly, a lot like the rainforest canopy sitting high above the forest floor.”

To read the rest of the story, purchase and download a digital copy of Issue 122: December 2021.

Nizar Musa
23 December 2021