In a conversation with Ranju Warrier, commissioner-general of Monaco Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, Albert C roe si, reveals the idea behind the pavilion’ s design& theme; building an eco-friendly structure; and responding to challenges caused by C OVID -19
Monaco Pavilion’s Albert Croesi shares design and construction details with Ranju Warrier
In October 2021, the world will come together to be a part of the Expo 2020 Dubai, the first to be held in the Middle East and North Africa & South Asia (MENA & SA) region.
More than 192 participating countries will showcase their uniqueness under three themes, Mobility, Opportunity, and Sustainability. One such country, which aims to “surprise and fascinate” the world with its pavilion is Monaco, the second smallest country in the world.
Construction Week speaks to Albert Croesi, the commissioner-general of Monaco Pavilion, who takes us through the journey from idea to design, as well as the construction of the pavilion.
The pavilion is based on the theme: ‘Monaco 360° – a World of Opportunities’ and located within the Opportunity District.
According to Croesi, the pavilion is inspired by a kaleidoscope resembling the ‘Rock of Monaco’, — a 62m-tall monolith on the Mediterranean coast and is a “gem-like, polygonal structure”.
Talking about its participation in Expo 2020 Dubai and what it aims to showcase at the global event, Croesi says: “All the countries will have the same objectives after this crisis: underline that we have overcome the situation.”
“Monaco is looking forward to showcasing its ecological footprint, technology towards education, construction, science, and its cultural spirit. We want to make a key contribution to the Opportunity thematic district where we share the Monegasque savoir-faire and life skills, how we found the balance between human and technological development while respecting the eco- system.”
Croesi adds: “We will plunge the world into a digital and sensorial tour and show the multiple facets of our country.” These facets include its characteristics, its professions, its actions, its multiple perspectives, and its diversity.
Highlighting the theme and design of the pavilion, the commissioner-general says: “The main and polygonal shape of the pavilion with the prominent use of photovoltaic panels evokes the ecofriendly governance of Monaco and the steps we have taken to protect the environment.
“We are committed to designing a pavilion with a balance of production and consumption of electricity close to zero. Our second priority is to build a pavilion that aims for the majority of its used materials to be recycled.”
Tendering to construction & beyond
Monaco confirmed its participation in the World Expo on 21 December 2017. Following which, the call for proposal was announced on 1 February 2018.
Later on 3 April, Monaco called for the submission of tenders for the pavilion. According to Croesi, on 26 October the contract was awarded to a consortium comprising Monagesque company AODA and Cologne-based facts and fiction, which is also working on the German Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.
AODA and facts and fiction is working with OOS architects on the concept. The architect of record
is Büro Kling Consult, with Nüssli Satal (Dubaï), being the project management firm. Construction work is being carried out by Al Ahmadiah Contracting with VR Technical as the MEP contractor.
The ground on the pavilion was broken on 16 October 2019, marking the beginning of the construction phase of the pavilion.
In August 2020, Monaco announced that the external structure of the pavilion was nearing completion. As of 2 November, construction progress hit 87% at the pavilion.
Croesi stresses that the contractor aims to acquire the building completion certificate (BCC) by mid-December 2020. Upon the completion of the core and shell, the pavilion will be closed, tempered, and kept under surveillance until it reopens at the end of May 2021 for the remaining work.
The interior scenography, the various elements making up the visiting stations, the wastewater treatment system, and the air compressor will be delivered and installed from June next year.
The commissioner-general adds that the internal fit- out and scenography works are expected to be completed by 1 September 2021.
Response to COVID-19 and well-being
Monaco’s participation in Expo 2020 Dubai and the construction of its pavilion are being financed by the Monaco Government.
Croesi explains that the overall budget is estimated at $13m (EUR11m). “An additional cost was voted by the government in summer 2020, which was essential to support the cost of the one-year delay and hibernation. All countries have to face additional costs in the maintenance and workforce of the pavilion,” notes Croesi.
Talking about the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the construction of the pavilion, the commissioner-general says: “Construction process slowed down for about three months due to site access restrictions and questions about the postponement. Some equipment deliveries have been delayed too. Since June 2020, construction pace has resumed back to normal.”
“Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, construction has continued on site. The organisers have set up testing facilities on site that are open 24/ 7, and are operated by doctors, nurses, and trained volunteers. They also undergo full sanitisation twice a day across the whole site, as well as workers’ accommodation,” adds Croesi.
Man, machine, and materials
Located on a plot area of 1,700m2, the Monaco Pavilion has a built-up area of 1,200m2, with 12m height. The pavilion’s structure is divided into the ground floor, first floor, and rooftop with 122m2 of the solar panel area.
At the peak of construction activities, a total of 90 workers were deployed at the site. The construction team has recorded 134,788 man-hours of work to- date at the pavilion.
In terms of technology, a start up incubated in Monaco, Firmus Grey Water Recycling System (FGWRS), will help recycle domestic waters.
Croesi confirms that none of the materials used for the construction of the pavilion have been sourced from Monaco. “Kromatix glass of the PV panels have been manufactured in Switzerland and shipped to Dubai to be assembled with PV cells and electrical components by Emirates Insolaire.
“The goal of the solar panels will be to support the electrical consumption of our pavilion as much as possible from October 2021 to the end of March 2022. The one-year delay will allow us to connect the panels starting from December 2020 and produce more energy than we had planned at first (around 17 months),” adds Croesi.
The Monaco Pavilion will feature 74 standard rooftop panels of 330Wp covering 120m2 and 100 vertical Kromatrix panels of 270Wp each covering 165m2 out of the total crystal area of 396m2.
Overall, 80% of the pavilion is reusable or recyclable.
Upon the closing of the expo on 31 March 2022, the panels will be dismantled and donated to “a project still to be determined”.
The legacy of Expo 2020 will remain as District 2020, an integrated community, with many of the developments being retained from the World Expo. The Monaco Pavilion is not a legacy building,” Croesi concludes.