It could be said that British architect Asif Khan is the unofficial welcoming committee of next fall’s Expo 2020 in Dubai. For the three mammoth carbon-fiber entryways he imagined on the exposition site, Khan drew inspiration from the region’s traditional architectural elements and describes his design as “an exploration of the traditional mashrabiya”—a common Arabic latticework window enclosure that helps control sunlight and airflow. “I wanted the portals to appear from a distance like paper-thin screens,” he says, “like ethereal drawings in the sky.” The lightweight structures—69 feet high and nearly 100 feet wide—each have a 34-foot-wide door that will open for visitors every morning during the World Expo, scheduled to run from October 20, 2020, through April 10, 2021.
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