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Saudi Arabia - a stunning $100 million visitor center

Saudi Arabia's pavilion at Expo 2022 was a model of creative thinking, invested content and near-perfect execution. It was surprising and thought-provoking, and makes the viewer feel a little humble in the face of the architectural power. There is a lot to learn in the field of delivery from the Saudis as well.

The Saudi pavilion - 30 /30 /30 meters of intelligent design and content

One of the best pavilions at Expo 2022 was that of Saudi Arabia.

They did an impressive and inspiring job there. The design, the content production, the flow of visitors - excellent! It's easy to see the Production Value that was invested in the place, but unlike various places where you enter and tell yourself that you see how money is poured from all directions without distinction, here you feel that the resources that were available to the planners and performers were used accurately and intelligently.

Even before entering the Saudi pavilion - he is already winning! The huge structure (approximately 30/30/30 meters) is designed in the shape of the holy stone of the Kaaba: like a huge cube that is decorated with huge video screens that surround it from all sides.

The front wall is inclined at an angle of 45 degrees, and when you stand in front of it during the day - it is all a huge mirror through which those entering the pavilion can be seen. The entrance paths were designed in the shape of a semicircle, so that when looking at the huge mirror from the front, it feels as if the visitors are walking around the stone.

At night - the entire front wall turns into a huge video screen on which films (reasonable..) about Saudi Arabia are projected.

Visitor flow:

The Saudi pavilion was designed in such a way that it would allow a smooth flow with no barriers for hundreds of visitors at the same time. All the performances work in a circular fashion (or in Hebrew - in a 'loop') and there is no problem entering and leaving them at any given moment after you have exhausted the experience.

The path winding in circles that leads you down to the entrance is restful and well designed, and at the end - right at the entrance to the building there is a smart fountain that creates a cool game in which visitors enter the center of the circle of the fountain while being able to stay dry due to the changing timings of the water. The fountain experience is both an original element that is well designed, and also gives the possibility to refresh yourself with cool water in the heavy heat of Dubai. Lots of children and families used the fountain for games and laughter.

Content displays:

When you go up to the second floor, an impressive display is revealed that spans several spaces. A huge concave screen about five meters high and 15 meters wide stands on the opposite wall, and in the center of the space there is an opening like a circular pit with a diameter of 15 meters around which the visitors stand and look down at the round screen at the bottom. Views of Saudi Arabia are projected on the two screens while fully synchronizing the content: the photographs on the two giant screens are of the same objects from different viewing angles - the vertical screen: from the angles of the observer from the side or from drone shots, and on the round screen viewed from above: the same objects from an overhead view. The result is spectacular! no less.

The movies that play on the two screens are repeated in cycles of 7-10 minutes.

After the visitor has exhausted the experience, there are escalators that take him down to the lower floor, where there is an impressive video-art performance that challenges thought and imagination, when he creates shapes and objects that require a lot of thought to understand what exactly you are seeing, when the borders between the screens and the use of unique mirrors create an effect Unique that I haven't seen anywhere yet. In between - the stairs and passages are also full of designs and ideas and create a feeling of a complete experience without 'dead parts'.

What shall we say? It was one of the centers that was just fun to enter and stay in.


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