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Minister unveils Belgium’s Green Ark for World Expo 2020
Belgium’s pavilion at the Dubai World Exhibition in 2020 will be a “green ark”, bringing together the latest in sustainable technologies and traditional Belgian hospitality. The design was unveiled this week by federal foreign trade minister Kris Peeters.
The pavilion (pictured) will feature an exhibition trail, shops selling Belgian souvenirs and places to taste the country’s culinary specialities, including frietjes, of course. There will be a business centre and a gastronomic brasserie with a terrace.
Inside and out, the structure will showcase techniques, applications, products and materials on offer in Belgium. Natural light and ventilation, renewable energies and the smart use of water will all be exploited to produce a pavilion with exemplary environmental credentials.
The consortium behind the pavilion brings together contractor Besix, designers Assar Architects and Vincent Callebaut Architectures, and the scenographer Krafthaus. It has a public budget of €13.5 million, which will be supplemented with private investment and sponsorship.
Belgian participation in international exhibitions is handled by BelExpo, a public body created in 2017 by the federal and community governments. It reports to Peeters, in his capacity as federal minister for the economy.
As well as the Dubai design, Peters also presented the Belgian Pavilion for this year’s International Horticultural Exhibition in Beijing, which kicks off in April. Designed by Nicolas Godelet, a Belgian architect with an office in Beijing, it will reflect the diversity of horticulture in the country’s different regions.
Its design leads visitors through a green landscape to a cloud made of metal tubes, a humorous reference to the Belgian weather and its surrealist tradition.
“Participation in an international exhibition is an opportunity for Belgium to highlight its export products and its economic strengths,” Peeters said. “It’s a showcase for our country and for our companies. With unique designs for the horticultural exhibition in Beijing and the Dubai World Expo, our country will attract the attention of more than 40 million visitors.”