Al Wasl Plaza Overview
The last major element in the design of the Expo 2020 Dubai site is Al Wasl Plaza, an open space that combines breathtaking design, innovative technology, and an intricate domed trellis incorporating a huge immersive projection experience.
Designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, the plaza will be a unique space at the centre of the site. It will be developed alongside the other locations, such as the themed pavilions.
Al Wasl, which is 150 metres in diameter, was designed to have not only the “wow factor” but also to be a central hub during the Expo and beyond, bringing people of all backgrounds together to “Connect Minds,” a key ambition of the Expo.
The plaza will connect the three thematic districts, Opportunity, Sustainability and Mobility, as well as the other main concourses, including the Dubai Metro link and the UAE Pavilion, through its seven entrances and exits.
Al Wasl is the historical name for Dubai but also means “connection” in Arabic, reflecting both Dubai’s goal of bringing people together at the Expo and the plaza’s physical location at the heart of the site.
The plaza will be topped by a 65-metre-high domed trellis that was inspired by the shape of the Expo 2020 Dubai logo. The trellis will act as an immersive 360-degree projection surface.
As the dome is translucent, the projection will be visible to both those inside and out. The numerous other features of the plaza include restaurants, fountains and parks.
The design of the plaza uses techniques to calibrate the temperature under the trellis with that outside, ensuring a comfortable environment.
The plaza will be home to events throughout Expo 2020 Dubai, while after the Expo finishes in 2021, it will also play a central role – literally and metaphorically – in its legacy.
The plaza will be a focal point for development in the area, with plans to convert the surrounding 10- to13-storey buildings into hotels and offices, complementing the entire mixed-use legacy of the Expo site.
The location will also complement Dubai’s events scene, having been designed to be adapted to host experiences of all sizes up to 10,000 people.
Work is started on Al Wasl Plaza during 2017 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.
- The estimated handover date was 2020.
- The project is being developed by Dubai Holding.
- The architect of the project is Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture LLP.
- From Al Wasl Plaza it takes roughly 35 minutes to drive to Dubai Mall, 28 minutes to Palm Jumeirah, 32 minutes to Burj Al Arab and 29 minutes to The Walk JBR.
- Dubai International Airport (DXB) is roughly 42 minutes' drive and the new Al Maktoum International Airport is roughly 25 minutes' drive. All durations are calculated by Google Maps and assume the fastest route in typical traffic conditions.
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