Location: Doha, Qatar
Type: World Expo National Pavilion 
Status: Built
The lamellar facade perfectly representing the Tuqwait mountains.
Innovations and Environmental Sustainability
“Green desert, Better environment” - The motto of the first International Horticultural Exhibition held in the Middle East and North Africa regions, aims to promote sustainable behaviours and increase environmental awareness, in order to mitigate and reduce desertification through the employment of green solutions.
​​​​​​​The universal rendezvous brought in contact a heterogeneous group of experts with the Expo’s goals, giving birth to the KSA Pavilion project. With Expo Pavilion Group and Neon (fka Cityneon), UOOU studio was honoured to present the design and construction for the Saudi Arabian Kingdom at Expo 2023 in Doha, Qatar.
Our eco-centric vision led us to imagine an exhibition area that respects the majesty of Saudi land while inviting visitors to be part of an immersive synergic experience.

North-east isometric view of the pavilion, showcasing the diverse soils and plants
Playground floor of the pavilion, featuring a variety of soils and plants
The KSA Pavillion intends to reflect the cooperation between ecosystems, communities, climate, energy, material life-cycle, and people, in order to encourage a process that will not damage the ecosystem, instead, it will enrich and regenerate it.
Internal lush garden with various species of Saudi Arabian plants, with the facade in the background
Internal lush garden with various species of Saudi Arabian plants and a wide sunshade covering the terrace in the background atop the main building
An Oasis in the Desert
The 5500-metre square exhibition area makes the Saudi site the second largest after Qatar’s host pavilion, offering a unique journey through a seamless experience between nature and technology. The interactive environment perfectly suits the theme of the event, allowing the visitors to learn about impactful national initiatives, focused on the promotion of modern agriculture, technology and innovation, environmental awareness, and sustainability.
The impressiveness of the Saudi Hijaz mountains inspired the KSA Pavilion’s design, giving rise to the concept of a perimetral shading system, that - reproducing the peaks’ skyline - shields the lush internal garden from the desert climate. A chosen variety of different external grounds guide the visitors’ itinerary into the natural richness of Saudi landscapes and resources.
Internal lush garden with various species of Saudi Arabian plants
Section BB' displaying various trees on the rooftop and in the garden.
Section CC' displaying various trees on the rooftop and in the garden
In this designed microclimate, undulating thriving paths welcome the guests into the inner garden, shaped like the Wadis of the Saudi valleys (typical Middle Eastern seasonal rivers). The assorted typography of the country is fully showcased once the visitors set foot in the middle of the garden, where a blooming and refreshing area is framed by typical tree species (such as sidr, lavender, basil, and grey ghaf) and artificial waterways. This leafy
area - meant to offer multiple intuitive experiences - shows the deep Kingdom’s commitment to a greener tomorrow. Through the Greening Saudi initiative, indeed, Saudi Arabia is rehabilitating 40 million hectares of desert, restoring the land’s natural greenery

LED facade showcasing a light show at sunset
 Like a pilgrim who reaches an oasis, the visitor can take part in an interactive journey through the vivid opposition between the outer sweltering desert, a symbol of past and present, to an inner flourishing forest, the metaphor of Saudi Arabian blooming future. Straight away, our pavilion reveals its purpose to respond to the contemporary need for sustainable and eco-responsible spaces, celebrating Saudi Arabian culture and promoting an innovative and respectful architectural perspective.
LED facade showcasing a light show at sunset
Exclusive landscape
Climbing some sophisticated and curved stairs next to the Majlis , it's possible to reach the exclusive VIP terrace, where a charming outdoor experience is offered by the view over the entire inner garden. The central branching sunshade organises the space around itself, where the presence of refined white sofas and the shady trees, make the building’s roof a pleasant environment to admire the amazing landscape of Doha’s city centre.
The wide, sunlit terrace with a sunshade covering the VIP area.
The wide, sunlit terrace with a sunshade covering the VIP area.
Between tradition and innovation
In designing the interior spaces, we perceived the identity of the Saudi Kingdom as deeply related to the smooth equilibrium between innovation and traditions. In like manner, we imagined space as the symbol of an unconventional combination of modern shapes and recurring patterns.​​​​​​​
Internal panel featuring typical Saudi Arabian decoration
Internal panel featuring typical Saudi Arabian decoration
From the main entrance, it’s possible to identify two different areas merging in the same elegant building. The immersive experience dominates the western side, while the eastern one hosts various functional spaces.
In the occidental area, the journey continues through some monumental pivoting doors that, by a charming reception, conduct the visitors to the most exclusive space. 

Landscaped plan
Majlis room with a circular white sofa, warm gold panels, and plants
​​​​​​​Like a traverse through a Wadi , the VIP area is reachable by a narrow corridor that ends in a light oasis-lounge. This private gathering space appears as a circular sitting room, where a Majlis dominates the scene: in the Arab tradition, a Majlis was the largest room of the house for receiving and entertaining guests, where the men congregate to discuss religious, political, and trade matters. The space’s folkloric atmosphere is enriched by the traditional patterns that extend all over the panels and glass walls, reproducing some Arabic decorations characteristic of the various Saudi regions. The green presence of
indoor plants along with the winding neons, make this sector the perfect match between customs, innovation, and elegance.
Section AA' displaying various trees on the rooftop and in the garden
The white circular sofa in the middle of the majlis room, adorned with decorative plants
Dynamic Digital Facade
Nevertheless, the essence of KSA Pavilion’s concept is also strictly related to its immersive offer, which embraces the visitor from the beginning of their journey: a total of 3.5 km LED animate some of the most stunning Saudi natural treasures, delivering a touching experiential interaction all around the Pavilon’s facade.
Night view of the KSA facade with the skyline of Doha in the background
Detail of the facade featuring the flag of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Immersive 360° show
Furthermore, the interactive path that unravels inside the building, brings the guests into an even more memorable adventure. A digital pre-show accompanies the audience through a sinuous and magical walk that leads them to the final 360º immersive show.
A circular-shaped theatre of 165 metres square, displays one of the most intense and enchanting spectacles, showing the kingdom’s strong will to “enhance quality of life and safeguard future generations at home and beyond its borders. ”. The SGI - Saudi Green Initiative - is a royal campaign that aspires to achieve a greener and
sustainable future focusing on three main goals( reducing emissions, greening Saudi, and protecting land and sea), subjects of the interactive representations.
Children seated in the middle of the 360° theatre with a blue and waving light show
Two little girls playing with the lights of the 360° theatre show.
Architectural Project developed by UOOU studio ( Gianluca Santosuosso - Lead Architect) for the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture of Saudi Arabia (MEWA) in collaboration with : CNeX (General Contractor) / EPG - Expo Pavilion Group (Melle Pama - Project Leader, Lead Creative) / Nana Boitran (Project Director) /  Jasper van Baar (BIM Specialist) / SIDstudio (Engineering) / NiO (Mark Niewenhuis - Exhibition Design) / Virginia Zanuso (Landscape Architect) / Jelly creative studio (Interior Design) / Watercube (Landscape Water Feature Design) / Masman (Interior Drafting) / Bastard Orange (Lighting Design) / Michel Van Tilborg (Concept & Content) / OORKAMERS  (Concept & Content) / Mike Pearse (Concept & Content) / Minjung Park (Content Management) / Sandra Keus (Content Management) / Hong Kim (Graphic Design) / Carlo Walhof (Graphic design) / Copalenco (Storyboarding and Illustration) / Anghela Alò (Show Direction and Scripting) / Matteo Fumagalli  (Storyboarding and Illustration) / CreateEU (AV Technical Development) / MCW ( LED Façade film Production and Immersive Film Sound Production) / Shosho B.V. (Immersive Film Production Lead) / Redrum Studio (Immersive Film Production) / Matthias Schnabel (Immersive Film Production) / Luma Studio Milan (Immersive Film Production) / Mitchel Tan (Exhibition Film Editing) / Sugarfilms (Exhibition Film Editing) / Loepzuiver (Exhibition Film Editing) / Gavro (Interactive Design and Production) / First Movers Agency (Photos and Videos).

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