Construction of Expo 2020 Dubai’s Finland Pavilion 90% complete

Finland has hit another milestone with the construction of its pavilion — based on the theme ‘Shaping Future Happiness” — at Expo 2020 Dubai — by recording 90% completion on overall work, with the pavilion set to now entre the hibernation period until the remaining construction activity, including the interior fit-out works re-start in April 2021.

Commissioner general of Finland at Expo 2020 Dubai, Severi Keinälä told Construction Week: “All but the final surfaces [of the pavilion] have been completed, [including] the steel, concrete, MEP, and structural works.”

Keinälä stressed that the exterior of the entire pavilion will be covered with a white membrane, which will be installed next year “to ensure the freshness of the pavilion during Expo”, adding that the aluminium façade at the entryway will also be installed in 2021.

He added that the sealing and decoration of the water pools as well as the installation of the country sign will be carried out next year.

Other works that will be implemented in 2021, following the hibernation period, also include installation of the wooden surface inside the gorge — a centrepiece of the Finland Pavilion — and the application of the final coats of paint, revealed Keinälä.

The commissioner general further explained that the elevator and sliding doors will also be installed next year, along with the finishing of the last surfaces in order to make sure that the pavilion maintains the freshness when the World Expo opens on 1 October 2021.

KONE will equip the Finland Pavilion with its touchless KONE elevators.

“Our decision to postpone the final construction elements of our pavilion was made to ensure the final aesthetic elements are as fresh as possible for the October 2021 opening,” the commissioner general said in a statement.

The main contractor of the Finnish Pavilion is Cimolai Rimond Middle East, which is working with a consortium of five companies including Expomobilia, JKMM Architects, Factor Nova, Beyond Limits, and Five Currents.

Together, the onsite team of the Finland Pavilion, Snow Cape, have recorded 123,834 lost time injury-free (LTI) safe man-hours to-date, the commissioner general told Construction Week.

Located within Expo 2020 Dubai’s Mobility District, the pavilion was topped out on 11 February 2020, with the last piece of the steel beam being installed to complete the structure.


Installation of the wooden surface inside the gorge, a centrepiece of the Finland Pavilion, will be done next year. [Image: Finland at Expo 2020 Dubai]

Going into hibernation

Talking about the hibernation process and how the contractors have planned to implement it, chief customer officer of Expomobilia — the Swiss contractor known for temporary structures — Dietmar Kautschitz, told Construction Week: “Weekly visits to the pavilion by [the team at] Expomobilia or Cimolai Rimond will ensure [that] we recognise any changes to the internal or external areas of the pavilion.”

Kautschitz added the air conditioning has been activated and will continue to stay turned on during the hibernation period. “A constant temperature and humidity are guaranteed.”

“The decision to implement sensitive items next year from April 2021 when we re-start works was decided by Business Finland, together with Expomobilia,” Kautschitz continued.

Furthermore, Kautschitz explained that there is no requirement for the construction team to be on the site during the hibernation period.

“We continue to work from our office at the laydown area (LAAR), which is just a stone´s throw away from the Finland Pavilion,” he exclaimed.

“Preparing the structure for a period of hibernation and changing weather conditions has meant pausing the execution of the intricate details of the pavilion’s design and finish,” added Kautschitz.

Meanwhile, the commissioner general will continue to be a part of the project during this period, while rest of the team at Business Finland that is taking care of Finland’s participation at the World Expo will be engaged in other tasks within the organisation.

Keinälä concluded: “To my knowledge, we are among the first of the country pavilions to reach this stage and pause construction on the shell and core of the structure.

“The envelope of our pavilion has been completed to withstand the winter weather and I am looking forward to finishing the final surfaces next spring and moving on to the interior fit-out phase in order to have a fresh and exciting pavilion, ready to welcome visitors on October 1, 2021. With less than one year to go, the countdown is on.”

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