DUBAI: Finland revealed its Dubai Expo 2020 pavilion, named Snow Cape, during a recent ceremony at the site.
Finland’s Minister of Economic Affairs, Mika Lintilä, Commissioner General of Finland at Expo 2020 Dubai, Severi Keinälä, and Finland’s Ambassador to the UAE, Marianne Nissilä signed on the last piece of the construction.
The structure is located in the Mobility District, and around 80-85 percent of its materials will be reused and recycled after the exhibition is over.
“We want visitors to Snow Cape to immerse themselves in our deep connection to nature and sustainability. The values of happiness, circular economy and innovations are being showcased throughout the pavilion and exhibition design,” Keinälä said.
Finland ranked as the world’s happiest country in the 2019 World Happiness Report, produced by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network in partnership with the Ernesto Illy Foundation.
“Finnish happiness is based on the symbiosis of people, nature and technology. This deep connection is the origin of the quality of everyday Finnish life and the Finland pavilion communicates this happiness,” Keinälä said.
Snow Cape’s design was created by Finland-based JKMM Architects and aims to combine the local culture of the UAE and Finnish tradition.
“The pavilion was inspired by the white blanket of snow that covers the Finnish landscape every winter. The main entrance was designed to elicit thoughts of a traditional Arabic tent, seamlessly integrating features from both cultures,” Partner and Architect at JKMM Architects Teemu Kurkela said.
Kurkela explained that they had many options to pick from, such as forests to represent the Finnish nature, but decided to go with the snow cape.
“Since the climate here is very hot, lots of sun and sand and dessert. What is the extreme contrast to that? In that sense, it’s the winter and the snow,” the architect said.
JKMM also designed the Finnish pavilion, Kirnu, in Shanghai World Expo 2010, which won the first prize in the design competition.
As for how Finland’s participation will reflect on the relations with UAE and the region, the ambassador believes it will make the connections tighter.
“I think the fact that 100 Finnish companies decided to take part in Expo is the clearest sign ever about their interest to reach out to Dubai, to the UAE and to the wider region here,” Nissilä said.
The ambassador also hopes these companies use the exhibition as a platform to reinforce relations with partners and find new ones.
“I’m hoping that expo will bring the economic and trade cooperation to a totally new level, with new partnerships found and new deals made” Nissilä said.