UK Architecture Firm Unveils Huge Carbon Fibre Entry Portals

British architecture studio Asif Khan has unveiled the 3 huge entrance portals to the Dubai Expo 2020, woven from carbon fibre to create a 21-metre-high Mashrabiya-style lattice.

The 30-metre long portals are positioned at the entrance to each of the three Thematic Districts, Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability where visitors will enter through one of the 21-metre-high gateways and walk between two screen walls underneath a latticed canopy.

Inspired by Arabic Mashrabiya architecture, the portals comprise a structure that is at once a series of two-dimensional planes as well as a three-dimensional geometric configuration – resembling the Expo 2020 logo when viewed from the correct angle. The transcendental play on light, shadow and space is meant to convey to visitors that the world within the Expo gates is entirely different to that outside.

The portals are the first thing you see as you approach the site, so they are a landmark at the beginning and end of your journey at Expo 2020. I would like visitors to Expo, especially children, to be inspired by architecture they have never seen before, and to be excited that it is part of the heritage of the region. Passing through the doors represents a physical and symbolic act of moving from the past into the future.

Asif Khan

The portals were created using high-grade carbon fibre and resin which was then wrapped around a rotating arm that doubled as formwork in the 3D printing process. These columns of carbon fibre were then craned in and fixed into position. The carbon fibre lattice was designed to be as thin as possible while also retaining the structural strength.

Dubai Expo 2020 will open its carbon fibre doors on the 20th of October and will showcase architects and designers from around the world.