‘The Source of Everything’ - a proposal for the Austrian Pavillion at the 2020 Expo in
Dubai – was selected as a finalist in an international competition and marks the first
collaboration between Penda Austria and Smartvoll. The project features a supersized
mill, that circulates water through the pavilion and brings one experience to the desert of
Dubai during a crowded Expo that Austria is famous for: Refreshment.
“In my opinion, a pavilion at the Expo shouldn’t be a box that solely showcases products and
companies. At its best, a pavilion offers a surprise, a fun time with a message and an
adventurous exploration. By creating a lasting impression, it will connect the visitors
personally to the values of a country and its culture.” says Philip Buxbaum, partner of
Austria and Water
Water shaped our country and it generates most of our energy. Our drinking water from
Austrian glaciers is known as one of the best in the world and is highly treasured as a public
good. In times where large cooperations are buying wells and the pollution of our rivers, lakes
and oceans is on a all time high, the pavilion should be a statement to underline the
importance that that water is a public asset. Water is the source of life. It is the main designer
of our environment. It makes up two thirds of a human body, just like the map of the world.
Water is our physical connection with the planet.
Water not only creates us and everything around us, it also keeps us alive. Water is the main
source of revitalisation. On this notion, our pavilion Pavilion lets visitors experience hands on all
stages of water: by dancing in the rain!
Austria’s wealth of water is conveyed as the key to our identity, unlocking the appreciation for
the unique qualities, expertise and attractions our country has to offer. In this sense our pavilion
offers a place of refreshment, that also portraits a land of revitalisation of the body and the
Dubai and Water
On average, it rains between 0 and 1 times per month during the time of the Expo in Dubai.
Attracting millions of people, an expo is usually a crowded event and a heated place, even if it
doesn’t take place in a desert. Dubai 2020 will be a particularly hot Expo.
“Usually, the task of a building is to protect against weather. But once we started the process,
we didn’t want to create an indoor space and fill it with air-conditioning to make it visitable.
That’s not a sense of sustainability the Expo should stand for. We also didn’t want to close up
the pavilion because it could rain one time per month. So we emphasised on the topic. Not
only welcomes our pavilion the rain, it even produces it. Our building leaks, drops, vapors,
steams and rains. In this sense the Austrian Pavilion is one large sprinkler that refreshes its
visitors,” says Chris Precht.
Austria in Dubai
The Austrian Pavilion is open to the sides to let wind flow through the wood structure. On the
top of the pavilion, shades protect from direct sunlight. Between the structure, watermills slowly
carry collected & clean Austrian rainwater to the top and drop by drop make it rain throughout
the building – inviting people to interact, play and regenerate..
On the entrance of the ramp, visitors gets an austrian-colored umbrella, that protects them from
direct sunlight outside of the pavilion. After that, visitors line up in the shadow of the pavilion
and experience the watermills turning from the outside. Between the structure, they see other
people interacting with the pavilion and its water. Once inside, visitors can decide the level of
their refreshment: either using the umbrella, or experience the Austrian rainwater hands-on.
Different zones of vapour, drops, steams and pouring rain provide a path through the pavilion.
A large windmill on the back of the building provides a constant flow to the refreshing
atmosphere. After the interaction with the water, visitors are guided to the lower floor where we
picked up the sub theme of the Expo: ‘Connecting Minds’. All people are sent to a single
large table where they can dry their clothes over a glass of water and a chat with fellow Expo
visitors. The very openness of the structure is an invitation by itself and makes it a symbol for
Austria´s hospitality and culture. People from all over the word will come to the Pavilion to get
refreshed, eat, drink and connect.
The circulation of the mill – bringing water to the top, pouring it down and reusing it to pick it up
again – is also the perfect embodiment of the water circulation itself. A life creating cycle that is
the source of every thing.
‘The Source of Everything’ is a collaboration between Penda Austria and Smartvoll and is
selected as a finalist in the international competition for the Austrian Pavilion 2020 at the Expo
BY Penda Austria & Smartvoll
CONSULTANTS Facts and Fiction, Wolfgang Pauser,
PROJECTNAME ‘The Source of Everything’ - Austrian Pavilion for the Expo 2020
PROJECTTYPE Pavilion, Exhibition
PROJECTLOCATION Dubai, VAR
PROJECTTEAM Chris Precht, Philip Buxbaum, Christian Kircher, Fei Tang Precht, Dietmar Jaehn,
Robert Müller, Andreas Horbelt, Wolfgang Pauser, Thomas Vournazos (Stage 1),
CREDITS Penda Austria & Smartvoll
SOCIAL MEDIA Instagram:
Renderings Virginlemon www.virginlemon.tumblr.com
‘The Source of Everything’ - a proposal for the Austrian Pavillion at the 2020 Expo inDubai – was selected as a finalist in an international competition and marks the firstcollaboration between Penda Austria and Smartvoll. The project features a supersizedmill, that circulates water through the pavilion and brings one experience to the desert ofDubai during a crowded Expo that Austria is famous for: Refreshment.“In my opinion, a pavilion at the Expo shouldn’t be a...
- Year 2018
- Work started in 2018
- Work finished in 2018
- Client EXPO Office Austria – WKO
- Status Competition works
- Type Pavilions / Exhibition Design / Exhibitions /Installations