Finland Pavilion at Expo Dubai 2020

  • Location
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Period
    August 2019 - September 2020
  • Client
  • Architect
    JKMM Architects
  • Status


Called “Lumi” or “Snow Cape”, the Finland Pavilion resembles an Arabic tent made of snow, and brings together Finland’s natural beauty and its knack for innovation – from education and sustainable technologies to health and wellbeing.

Together with 100 Finnish companies, the pavilion showcases the country’s world-leading status when it comes to clean technologies and circular economy, from the sustainable use of resources to sustainable energy and digital solutions; but also mobile communications, machinery, education, health & wellbeing, travel and Finnish design.

The Finland Pavilion aims to bring together the country’s icy landscapes with the culture of Dubai. The simplicity and the elegant design reflect the fascinating tradition of Finnish architecture: a simple, cubic volume with a striking entrance facing towards the front plaza. Shallow water pools create gentle sounds and cool the air. Visitors access the pavilion through a tent-like opening into a gorge, a special central void of the pavilion that opens to the sky.



One of the biggest challenges was the very limited available space for construction works. The building occupied almost the entire plot with no space to store material to be installed and to place the equipment for installation.
Furthermore, some of the materials selected by the client and the architect were customized, fabricated in Finland therefore they required long time for procurement versus material that could have been sourced locally.


To address the limited space and the procurement issue we studied a construction sequence where we built “in one direction only” (from front of house to back of house) identifying for each phase the best area where to place the equipment and the material to be installed.
Thanks to offsite fabrication, we reduced the time for installation on site, delivering on site items preassembled in the factories or in a close laydown area. This allowed us to identify for each heavy installation activity the best location to place the equipment and to pre-assemble the material.

Photo credits: Christophe Viseux & Michael Kruger