Dubai World Expo SG Pavilion

  • Design

    WOHA Architects

  • Client

    Urban Redevelopment Authority Singapore

  • Location

    Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  • Scale


  • Status


  • Service

    Ecosystem Services

  • Use

    Exhibition Showcase

  • Year


  • Tags



For 170 years, World Expos have provided a stage to showcase the greatest innovations that have shaped the world we live in today. It is an international showcase of food, music, technology, art, science, culture and creativity from all across the globe. Expo 2020 Dubai provided a platform to celebrate key global developments while simultaneously creating space for collaboration amongst its 192 participating countries to address the global challenges we face today.  

Themed ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) saw this as an opportunity to pay tribute to Singapore’s journey towards growth, sustainability and resilience. Using ‘Nature. Nurture. Future’ as a guiding concept, The Singapore Pavilion, designed by WOHA Architects, encapsulated Singapore’s story of overcoming its physical limitations as a small island city-state to become a highly livable and sustainable city.

The Singapore Pavilion was decked in multi-layered greenery and invited visitors to take an experiential journey through Singapore’s evolution into a City in a Garden. For its outstanding design the Singapore Pavilion won a gold award at the World Expo. 

We compare the performance of the pavilion with the natural sandy desert vegetation in Dubai 


To further support and complement the innovative design of the Singapore Pavilion, an ecosystem service performance review was called for.


bioSEA evaluated the likely ecosystem services to be provisioned by the design of the Singapore Pavilion. 

Collaborating with WOHA, an ecosystem service performance report was developed. Imagining that the design was adapted to Dubai’s climactic conditions and landscape, it was compared against a typical landscaped bungalow in the city to contextualize its performance. Not only did the design save up to 115 air-conditioners worth of energy through the passive cooling offered by the intense greenery but this is 82% more energy saved than a typical bungalow’s landscaped greenery.

Building upon this, we wanted to further explore how Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah would perform as a district, if the Singapore Pavilion design was scaled up. Results showed that it would perform up to 4-8 times better in various aspects such as solar heat reduction, carbon sequestration and air pollutant removal. 

Overall, this study provided strong scientific evidence that design strategies championed by the Singapore Pavilion were beneficial to both humans and biodiversity and could be upscaled to larger extents to ensure ecosystem service benefits are optimized.

Carbon di Oxide sequestered by the vegetation across various design scenarios.


Singapore Pavilion wins gold award at World Expo in Dubai

Cover image: Visual by Quentin Sim/WOHA

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