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Super exiting moment discovering the panels of the « 4 visions on the Anthropocene » box we made for the Vienna Biennal 2021! Work in Progress

12.05.2021 at 12:00 by Lea Chenot


A big empty space, right before installing all exhibits at WeTheCurious! Project What If

01.02.2021 at 12:19 by Ina Meininghaus


Safety vs. functionality: looking for the best headphones to use in a factory Expedition HVC

07.01.2021 at 17:39 by Roel Bolhuis


The new temporary exhibition in House of European History is 'under construction' Fake (f)or Real

07.01.2021 at 17:32 by Tsur Reshef


The last steps before the Coronel Pavilion at the Portuguese-Israeli Cemetery Beth Haim is opened! Coronel pavilion

29.11.2020 at 14:30 by Remco Swart


All in good hands with Fiction Factory Museum of the Mind

07.11.2020 at 17:32 by Femke Bijlsma


"Who Cares?" The first model for a personal story in the upcoming exhibition on the Mind Museum of the Mind

20.08.2020 at 11:45 by Robert van der Linde

Visiting Paleis Het Loo together with Ina, to get an impression of the new exhibition spaces that are currently under construction. Het Loo palace

22.06.2020 at 14:08 by Robin Schijfs


Last trip before Corona Lockdown: Usomo from Berlin calibrating their audio tracking system in the Polder of Texel next to the bunker. Torn Island

22.06.2020 at 10:32 by Michel de Vaan

How to become invisible? Prototyping together with WeTheCurious at Bruns Project What If

17.03.2020 at 15:33 by Ina Meininghaus


Prototyping a rainbow crystal sphere for one of the new exhibit constellations at WeTheCurious. Project What If

12.03.2020 at 09:51 by Ina Meininghaus


Workshop at IJsfontein together with the Museum of the Mind - Work in Progress Museum of the Mind

06.02.2020 at 12:26 by Julia Meyerrose


Typo test for Museum of the Mind Museum of the Mind

23.01.2020 at 09:19 by Sietske Sips


Julia sketching for the new permanent exhibition at the Museum of the Mind Museum of the Mind

22.12.2019 at 15:43 by Lieke Ketelaars


Walk-in interactive sound space demonstration by Usomo in our office in Amsterdam... Torn Island

16.12.2019 at 15:10 by Mark de Jong


David Vroom is taking new portrait images for our new website... In progress…

10.12.2019 at 15:10 by Lieke Ketelaars


This is the Introduction pavilion for the Beth Haim cemetery in TAPE Coronel pavilion

10.12.2019 at 10:05 by Herman Kossmann


Doing some research for a new project ;-) In progress…

19.09.2019 at 09:50 by Maaike Sips

On view


Netherlands Pavilion

Expo 2020 Dubai (UAE)

How can we make it rain in the desert? How can we use natural resources already present to provide food? These are just two questions that this pavilion answers. Kossmanndejong developed a multisensory experience in which visitors can discover the Netherlands’ innovation and ambition. Every day, the pavilion harvests 800 liters of water from the desert air to manufacture rain. It’s raining stories, innovations and possibilities in the pavilion.

Expo 2020 Dubai (UAE)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
3 727 m2
Visitor experience design
Mark de Jong (lead), Sietske Sips, Martijn Sas, Michel de Vaan
V8 Architects
Main contractor
Film production
BIND film
Light design
AV hardware
An innovative climate machine

The pavilion is a biotope – a miniature world with its own cycle. This temporary, circular climate system exists through a combination of unique innovations. The pavilion showcases experimental solutions to major issues of water scarcity, energy transition and food shortages on a life-sized scale model. Only united water, energy and food solutions can help the world achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. In this way, the pavilion acts as a catalyst to inspire the world to change

Theatrical factory

The visitor experience reinforces the factory metaphor of the pavilion’s architecture. Everything breathes the atmosphere of a fresh, future industry. There is a control room with monitors and there are orange carts and wheelbarrows that act as mobile umbrella stands. On the ramps, you hear sounds of steel and Dutch innovations, such as the ‘swoosh’ of windmill blades. Inside, puffs of mist from the evaporative cooling evoke a steam engine. The hosts wear blue overalls because they are the workers who help keep this factory running.

A sensory experience

Visitors’ five senses will be spoiled for choice – though not all at once. We strategically emphasize certain senses in concert with the pavilion’s architecture. Sounds pique visitors’ curiosity. The temperature gradually shifts from hot to cool. Visitors can smell oyster mushrooms and taste the plants that grow on the central cone. The rusted steel begs to be touched. Scents recreate the smells of Dutch soil. When they exit the cone, visitors see the biotope covered in plants for the first time. This sensory experience unlocks the visitors’ imaginations, encouraging them to speculate what a circular system can be and achieve.

It’s raining stories

After an introduction to the pavilion’s central theme of ‘uniting water, energy and food’ in the control room, the visitor journey in the central cone builds to a climax in the form of a multimedia experience that Kossmanndejong developed with BIND film. A wondrous narrative projects onto white umbrellas about the pavilion’s technical innovations that transform the harsh desert climate into a fertile ecosystem. The journey’s pinnacle is a miraculous rainfall that suddenly pours from 18 meters high. Carefully orchestrated theatrical lighting and penetrating music combine to enhance the pavilion’s storytelling and its emotional resonance.

Dust to dust

As if it were a mirage, the pavilion will disappear from the desert when the Expo concludes. Located in the Expo’s Sustainability District, the Netherlands Pavilion’s designers wanted to create a temporary structure that left little to no trace once dismantled. The pavilion’s construction materials are either reusable, recyclable or biodegradable. Builders leased local steel and will return it for use in future projects in the UAE. The factory workers wear clothes made of recycled denim and will reuse the material for future clothing. We believe it is our role as communicators and designers to help people imagine a better future. We are therefore honoured to communicate the story of the Netherlands Pavilion to its visitors.


Big 5 Impact Awards 2021

Sustainable Construction Project of the year, winner