‘UN’ Opportunity Pavilion

Mission Possible – The Opportunity Pavilion, encapsulates the concept of ‘Opportunity’: the idea that any action we take can create an impact; that anything is possible with a small step. The pavilion is a public space that allows every visitor from every corner of the planet and every walk of life to connect across age, language and culture, working together to achieve meaningful, positive change for our planet and its people.


The pavilion was conceived as a large plaza, providing continuity to the Opportunity District in which it is situated. The design builds on the rich urban history of the plaza throughout millennia, from Roman times to the modern day – the concept of a plaza is universal and lends itself to multiple cultures, whether it is a piazza, saha, common or the town square. This universal urban language is important, because the pavilion aims to be a platform for social and cross-cultural engagement.

Floating 32 metres above the ground, the pavilion’s canopy represents clouds and the dreams that we all aspire to achieve. The clouds are ethereal, composed of six textile layers of fabric on metal structures, protecting the plaza from direct sun exposure. The colourful elements overlap, creating layers, playing with transparency, light, shadows and colour. The clouds are in constant transformation thanks to the ways in which people view them in space and the changes in light and colour at various times of the day.

A terracotta ‘carpet’ covers the ground and the pavilion’s facades – the first time this type of ceramic material has been used in the UAE in this way. This creates a backdrop that neutralises the impact of the buildings, and places emphasis on the pavilion’s public spaces and how humans interact within it. It is in this carpet – the Earth – where the human activity takes place. The space is designed to be appropriated by the visitors, to share experiences and generate a community of knowledge and mutual respect.

To bridge the terrain’s slope, the pavilion’s plaza is organised on two levels, creating a basin where visitors are metaphorically spaced in-between the clouds above and the Earth below and providing a unique, playful place for social interaction and cultural understanding.

Mission Possible – The Opportunity Pavilion is where Expo 2020 brings to life the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The United Nations is ideally located in Mission Possible – The Opportunity Pavilion, the Thematic Pavilion that examines how to unlock the potential of individuals and communities in creating positive change for people and planet.

Model by 'Métrica Mínima'