From October 2021 to April 2022, the City of Dubai will host the World Expo: a large-scale International Registered Exhibition that will bring nations together with universal themes and immersive experiences. It will comprise an entire new city, built on a 1,083-acre site between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The Expo site is organized around a central plaza linked to three main thematic districts, each dedicated to one of the Expo’s sub-themes: Opportunity, Mobility, and Sustainability.
SWA designed the majority of Expo 2020’s public realm, including the central garden (Al Wasl, Arabic for “the connection”), the main entry plaza, the long pedestrian loop linking the districts, and four parks. These spaces exemplify how the experience of the public realm can be enhanced while mitigating extreme climate conditions. The Al Wasl garden is protected by a domed, 65-meter-high trellis, designed by AS+GG (Architects), with whom SWA collaborated closely through the whole design process. This structure’s fabric panels shield visitors from the sun, allow free air movement, and provide a projection surface for outdoor entertainment. A central fountain mirrors the oculus of the dome and is complemented by seven additional water features, each with a different treatment, that provide respite and entertainment for visitors. The exotic and native plants of Al Wasl display a diverse array of colors and textures.
The shade structure at the Loop Boulevard (the main pedestrian spine for Expo visitor circulation) provides shelter from the sun with a design inspired by the stylized silhouettes of doves in flight, giving an airy and playful theme to the boulevard. Mature native ghaf trees (a species essential to the local ecosystem) flank the boulevard’s sides and establish a green corridor throughout the entire Expo site.
The two parks designed by SWA (Jubilee and Al Forsan), along with the Oasis and Gavath Trail, provide a rich program of attractions for the visitors, including performance spaces, playgrounds, fountains, an open air souk with SWA-designed kiosks, and restaurants. Over 50 percent of the plant species used at the parks are native.
In total, the public realm of Dubai Expo 2020 will welcome tens of millions of visitors, engaging them with striking, durable, landscape both contends with local climate and celebrates the robust species that thrive within it.
Yorba Linda Library + Arts Center
Here a new public library and cultural arts center were artfully sited to create memorable outdoor spaces. Working in collaboration with Group 4 architects, SWA transformed an earlier parking-fronted concept into a plan that resulted in landmark building and outdoor space composition along one of Yorba Linda’s main streets. The outdoor space – the Paseo – serv...
Disney World Master Plan
Special issues in the computer-aided land analysis included depth to watertable, soils and organic mucks, and cypress groves. The analysis summary provided the basis for master planning a mixed-use community with extensive greenway conservation lands, resort development, entertainment facilities, a business park, and a residential community.
Southern Gateway Public Green
The Southern Gateway Public Green will cap Highway 35 in South Dallas directly adjacent to the Dallas Zoo and the Oak Cliff neighborhood. The park’s design effectively reconnects the neighborhood, which was cleaved by the highway’s construction many decades ago.
Recognizing the reunification’s significance, the cap park design introduces the 12th Stree...
Moji Mountain Park Master Plan
Moji Mountain, one of the most distinctive symbols of Yichang, now boasts the city’s largest public open space. The 120-hectare park is located along the banks of the Yangtze River, and has a rich historical connection to both the river and the city. De-forested in the past for agricultural uses, the mountain’s slopes have been replanted and now support a new ...