Austria Pavilion “Austria makes sense”

Following a poetic pragmatism,their architecture firm foundedin 1998 by jakob dunkl, gerderhartt, peter sapp is dedicatedto projects and processes that always focus on people.Their office, which today hasaround 40 employees, focuseson adaptable structures thatshould give people space andfreedom.

Host country/Organizer: Austrian Federal Ministry for Digital and
Economic Affairs, Austrian Federal Economic Chamber

Design and concept: Querkraft Architekten
General contractor: NUSSLI

Expo 2020 Dubai, the first world Expo in an Arab country, from October 1st, 2021 to March 31st, 2022, with the slogan «Connecting Minds, Creating the Future» tries to answer questions of future visions, concepts and technologies for living together in an increasingly interlinked world. In line with this overaarching theme, the Austrian pavilion offers adequate space to enter into a multicultural dialogue on questions of a sustainable future. “Austria makes sense” is the ambiguous slogan according to which the country presents itself in a sensual way.

querkraft architects were inspired by historical wind towers and climateregulating properties of traditional Arab clay architecture. Re-interpreting the host country’s building traditions, 38 intersecting cones of different heights form the unmistakable shape of the Austrian Expo pavilion. Arranged around three green courtyards, exciting and unique room sequences with different atmospheres are created inside and outside. With it’s haptic surfaces made of clay plaster pleasant to the touch, the canopy of leaves rustling in the wind over the open cones and the omnipresent interplay of light and shadow, the building itself appeals to all senses.


The exhibition design staged by Büro Wien, Ars Electronica Solutions and design agency Bleed underlines and complements this unique atmosphere. With an interculturally understandable imagery and media art installations, the international audience is brought closer to culture and technical innovations from Austria in an intuitively understandable way. Emotional and ecological sustainability in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the Expo business, visitors to the Austrian Pavilion will find a place to slow down and relax with pleasant climate, daylight and references to nature. Thanks to its iconic shape and positive charisma, the temporary building will not only live on in the appreciative memories of its international guests beyond Expo 2020. Conceived with economical use of resources in mind from the beginning on, the pavilion will also persist in the physical sense-made possible by the construction of just eight different types of precast elements. After 182 days of Expo 2020, the ones will be dismantled into their individual parts and reassembled in a new location in the Arab world. The interplay of local building tradition and intelligent climate engineering from Austria makes it possible to largely dispense with conventional air conditioning technology, even in this hot desert climate. The energy requirement has been reduced by more than 70 percent compared to buildings of similar type and use. The Austrian pavilion thus makes an intercultural contribution to the energy debate and questions of climate-sensitive building.