From Austria to Qatar

Smaller pavilions at Expo 2015 hold bigger surprises

Jason Martinez
July 16, 2015



Viewing the starring pavilions of Expo 2015, such as those of Germany and Kazakhstan, may involve waiting for up to two hours. Avoiding the lines gives you more time to explore some of the impressive, less trafficked pavilions.


Israel’s exhibition, ‘Fields of Tomorrow,’ showcases the ancient and modern innovations that turned arid plains into fertile fields. Offering an impressive visual experience, the exhibition starts at the pavilion’s entrance with an interactive introduction and continues with a short video illustrating Israel’s transformation from desert to agricultural leader. The centerpiece of the exhibition is David Knafo’s massive 70-meter vertical garden that changes in color and texture with the passing seasons.


Through structural design, the pavilions of Qatar and Oman visually represent their landscapes, climate and cultures. Qatar’s pavilion evokes the souq, the traditional market, and its center resembles the jefeer, the Qatari food basket. Interweaving local tradition and global innovation, the pavilion showcases Qatar’s commitment to providing new ways to provide safe, healthy and convenient food. Oman’s pavilion has two sections, one focused on modern Oman and the other on the traditional aspects of Omani culture. Inside architecture reminiscent of a palace out of the Arabian Nights, visitors learn about the aflaj, an ancient Omani irrigation system that harnesses Earth’s gravity to aid in water distribution.




Simplicity rules in the Austrian pavilion. Focused on air quality, the entire pavilion is a small-scale Austrian forest pumping out 62.5 kilograms of fresh oxygen per hour—nature’s way. This output (and, importantly, intake of carbon dioxide) would sustain 1,800 people in an ideal climate. This life-giving forest is not just for show: the ‘green lung’ concept has the potential to be used in an urban setting, in offices and schools, for example, and it demonstrates the benefits of reforestation policies.


For more information and a complete list of pavilions at Expo 2015, visit

more articles