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Foster + Partners Designs Saudi Arabian Pavilion at Expo 2025 in Japan

The world-renowned architecture firm is recreating the feel of traditional Saudi villages and towns in Osaka.

Karim Abdullatif

Foster + Partners Designs Saudi Arabian Pavilion at Expo 2025 in Japan

Renowned-architecture firm Foster + Partners revealed the design of Saudi Arabia’s pavilion at Expo 2025, which will take place in Japan from April 13th, 2025 to October 13th, 2025.

Located on the reclaimed Yumeshima waterfront, the Saudi pavilion was designed with a spatial experience that echoes past explorations of Saudi Arabian towns, connecting its visitors with the wonders of the Kingdom enclosed by cladding featuring lightweight Saudi stone.

“The pavilion takes visitors on a journey of discovery that - layer by layer - paints a vivid picture of Saudi Arabian culture,” Luke Fox, Head of Studio at Foster + Partners tells SceneHome of the design, which recalls the organic shapes of traditional Saudi villages.

Carefully designed using computational fluid dynamics, the pavilion will allow cool winds from the west into its narrow streets during the height of Japan’s summer. In cooler months, the courtyard will act as a barrier that protects the pavilion from harsh winds.

“Our design plays with scale, light, sound and texture to stimulate all of the senses, while showcasing some of the country’s most innovative and exciting accomplishments,” Fox adds. Visitors enter through a verdant forecourt, filled with Saudi Arabian flora, before narrow streets lead them to the courtyard, the beating heart of the pavilion.

During the day, the courtyard will allow visitors to have quiet moments of reflection before being transformed at night into a venue for live performances. From the courtyard, visitors can then explore a labyrinth of meandering streets that offer portals into a number of immersive spaces.

“Creating a legacy for the pavilion, once the Expo comes to an end, has been central to the design process. The structure’s cladding is made from lightweight Saudi stone and designed to be efficiently deconstructed and reassembled, or completely reconfigured, to meet different requirements in a future location,” Tony Miki, Partner at Foster + Partners, says.

Saudi Arabia’s solar-powered pavilion was designed with sustainability in mind, with energy saving luminaires and rainwater recycling capabilities, in order to achieve the Japanese green building rating system’s highest level.

Photography Credit: Foster + Partners

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