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Designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, the plaza is a unique space at the centre of the site. It was 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 connects 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 is topped by a 65-metre-high domed trellis that was inspired by the shape of the Expo 2020 Dubai logo. The trellis acts as an immersive 360-degree projection surface.
As the dome is translucent, the projection is 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 was home to events throughout Expo 2020 Dubai, and since the Expo finished it also plays a central role – literally and metaphorically – in its legacy.
The plaza is 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 also complements 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 was completed in 2021.
The map below shows the location of Al Wasl Plaza and just below are summaries of the nearest attractions, parks, beaches, golf clubs and cinemas.
Images depicting the initial concept designs for Al Wasl Plaza.
Projects often go though a number of design revisions as they progress and developers may or may not honour their original plans when it comes to architectural designs, amenities and landscaping. The images below are provided as a means to compare the original plans with the realised development.
See the development of Al Wasl Plaza in photos.
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