SOM-Designed Pavilion at COP28 Demonstrates Green Building Methods

As part of the COP28 climate summit in Dubai, SOM has designed a pavilion that explores low-carbon construction for global investment company Dubai Holding.

Located in the Green Zone’s Energy Transition Hub, the pavilion is designed as a symbol of unity and inclusivity through two intersecting curved shells that provide space for informal events throughout the duration of the climate summit. 

The pavilion combines low-tech and high-tech solutions for buildings, scalable and transferable to places across the world. Continuing recent investigations into the future of sustainable building materials and construction through the Bio-Block Spiral, part of this year’s Chicago Architecture Biennial, and the Angelus Novus Vault which recently formed the entrance of the “Time Space Existence” exhibition in Venice, the pavilion explores the future of low-carbon construction by looking back to the past and reinterpreting ancient materials through new technologies.

© Catalin Marin

One half of the pavilion is built with 7,000 bricks made using recycled waste from the construction industry. Requiring no firing as part of their production and comparable in strength and technical specification to traditional bricks, K-BRIQ is a sustainable brick with 95 percent less embodied carbon than traditional masonry bricks. 

The other half of the pavilion, made of FSC-certified timber, provides a visual contrast to the curved brick shell, with integrated greenery to promote a connection with nature.