‘Salt Water Cities’ UAE pavilion, Floriade 2022


Event | Spatial | Material

Following on from its runaway success at the World Expo 2020, Amsterdam-based experience design studio Tellart worked in close creative collaboration with the United Arab Emirates once again, this time to develop the country’s pavilion for the International Horticultural Exhibition: Floriade 2022.

Tasked with designing roughly 200 square metres of exhibition space to fit the theme ‘growing green cities’, Tellart worked in close collaboration with the UAE’s Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, which served as executive creative director, to shape a story that focuses on the UAE’s innovative, solution-focused approaches to its uniquely challenging environment of sun, salt and extreme heat. The UAE is a lab for the future, Tellart reveals: a home to salt-loving plants that thrive at the ecotone between a notoriously arid desert and the world’s hottest sea. Here, the natural world holds clues for how we might address some of humanity’s biggest challenges, from food security to climate change.

The design and guest experience of the pavilion is also an example of Dutch and UAE collaboration. Alongside Dutch partner Tellart and UAE’s Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, UAE-based design studio Pragma co-created the pavilion’s garden and the architectural structure, while Aectual, Tellart’s neighbours in the Netherlands, printed the garden’s exterior walls and pavilion cladding. London-based virtual reality creators Marshmallow Laser Feast, UAE photographer Mohamed Somji and the Dutch Van Tetterode Glass Studio also collaborated on the project, working with Tellart to create an educational exhibition space that leads visitors on an integrated, multisensory journey celebrating the abundance of life that sustains the UAE’s 1300 km-long coastline and the vital role it can play in shaping our collective future.

Tellart’s creative storytelling throughout the UAE Pavilion is subtly high-tech and consistently focused on visitor experience. Using integrated motion capture technologies, guests step inside an underwater seagrass meadow – at one with the only flowers ever to grow on the ocean’s floor. Advanced programming techniques encourage visitors’ real time interaction with their environment: evoking the feel of rippling water and spreading seagrass roots with their fingertips, before sending up a flurry of bubbles from the seabed.

Experiential Storytelling and Experience Design – Tellart
Architecture – Pragma
Immersive Experience – Marshmallow Laser Feast
Photography – Mohamed Somji
Glass Sculptures – Van Tetterode Glass Studio
Brand Guidelines – Tinkah
Wayfinding – Endpoint
Lead Engineer – Arcadis
Construction -K_Dekker bouw & infra
Fabrication – Fiction Factory
AV Hardware – Neumann & Müller
Vinyl stickering – Watjeziet

Floriade Expo 2022
Almere, Flevoland
Until October 9, 2022

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