Expo 2020 Dubai


Workshop E

Commissioned by:

New Zealand Government


1st October 2021 to 31st March 2022


Expo 2020 Dubai

Supplied Services for this Project:


New Zealand or “Aotearoa”, as the Maori – the country’s indigenous people – call it, means “Country of the Long White Cloud”. Taking care of natural resources and veneration of a natural phenomenon are raised to the rank of religious principle, which allowed us to enjoy the local landscapes almost in their original form. As a result, New Zealand is one of the most environmentally friendly countries in the world.

New Zealand is renowned for its rich and breathtaking ecosystem diversity. A land where peace and beauty go hand in hand with adventure. Green peaks and snowy peaks of mountains, meadows, and valleys, pastures and vineyards, lakes and thermal springs with geysers and mud pools, blue sea and golden beaches, turquoise ocean waters, unexplored forests, and modern cities, caves and grottoes, penguins and kiwis – each of the New Zealand ecosystem offers you something new and unique. Nature seems to have overdone its quest to make New Zealand the most beautiful country in the world. There is everything here – from the vast expanses of the ocean to meadows and mountain lakes of stunning beauty.

Main Theme

As a strong advocate for environmental sustainability and individual responsibility for preserving the natural environment, New Zealand chose the main theme for Expo 2020 Dubai to be “Care for People and Place”. Located in the Sustainability District, the pavilion’s theme is based on the Maori concept “kaitiakitanga”, which literally translates as guardianship and protection, the way of taking care of the environment. In addition, the pavilion is presented as the nation’s waka taonga, which refers to “treasured possessions”, a concept that incorporates New Zealand’s values and identity.

The Experience

Once you enter the pavilion, you will find yourself in the Welcome Room. The room is equipped with kinetic cameras that project a person’s movement on the wall. This interactive wall will amaze visitors with projected oceanic wave moments while walking toward the next zone. 

The River Room displays a special Maori Stone, which was purposely brought from the enshrined river in New Zealand to the Expo 2020. The main theme highlight is presented in this single area based on the natural heritage, namely a river. Upon entering the room, guests will see a projection on the end wall “I am New Zealand” with water features on both sides. 

The next zone is the “Film Room” with a 360-degree projection and a cube in the centre for enhanced effect. The audio and lights on the outside contribute to the room’s ambience while watching a compelling video about New Zealand on a 6.5 meters widescreen. 

As visitors leave the exhibition, they pass through the Farewell Room, equipped with LED screens and beautiful lighting to complete the experience. 

Our Main Challenges

One of the main attention-grabbing features of the pavilion is the movement of the pulse (sound + movement) that travels from the façade all through the building interior into the River Room. Therefore, it was a challenging task to create an audio playback system and sequence of the pulse.

Another demanding task was coordinating efficiently with numerous involved stakeholders, starting from contractors and finishing with clients over the two-year commitment to complete the cycle.

Our Solutions

The team had to undertake comprehensive and detailed planning to interface all the technical elements to create one cohesive experience of the pulse that travels through the pavilion. A number of our high-end specialists worked around the clock to run simulations to reach a perfect sequence of the sound & pulse. 

The coordination between different stakeholders required our Project Manager to be in direct contact with them 24/7 through various means of communication: written, virtual, and face to face across continents.


Photos: Andreas Keller