Colony on Mars
Architectural firm V8 Architects started three years ago with the design of a sustainable pavilion, in fact a small biotope. But how do you do that in the desert around Dubai with materials from the area that can also be recycled afterwards? It was quite a challenge, says director Michiel Raaphorst. “It’s like building a colony on Mars. Normally you use wood, water, none of that is there. There is no building material.”
The solution came from Dubai itself. The construction was made with sheet piles and steel that was already there for the construction of new skyscrapers. Artist Ap Verheggen devised the ‘SunGlacier’, the installation that can extract water from the air. Afterwards, all the material goes back to the local construction industry.
Whether the techniques demonstrated in the pavilion can also be applied on a large scale is a matter of scaling up. Raaphorst: “A world exhibition like this is about inspiring people. In this case, looking for solutions for scarcity. Later, such an idea can be taken up by the industry for daily applications.”