Coffee powder, orange peel and desert sand: Mapei’s sustainable innovation for the Italy Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai

The company has created new materials to cover the dune and walkway to guarantee a memorable sensorial experience

October 1, 2021

Milan, 1st October 2021 - Creating new materials from natural elements like sand, coffee powder and orange peel to be used for covering the huge outside dune and suspended walkway of the Italy Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, so visitors can enjoy a memorable sensorial experience. That, in a nutshell, is the innovative contribution that Mapei, a leading manufacturer of chemical products for the building industry, had made to the construction of the Italy Pavilion for the Expo that opened today in Dubai.

Making it possible to use such iconic materials for Italian and Arab culture as coffee, oranges and desert sand, which are also natural recyclable materials, Mapei has given shape to two of the pillars of the Italy Pavilion: Mediterranean life as the coexistence of different cultures and sustainability in the name of innovation.

Veronica Squinzi, Mapei’s CEO, had this to say: “Expo Dubai 2020 is a wonderful global showcase, which, this year in particular, provides the opportunity to show off the creative and business expertise of Italy as a system and promote the things in which we excel in wake of the truly awful period we have been through. Mapei, an ambassador of Italian savoir-faire for years, had no intention of missing out on this event and made itself available to architectural designers to help contribute in its own way to ensuring a visit to the Italy Pavilion is truly memorable”.

“In the design concept of ‘Beauty uniting People’, according to which beauty is a harmonious combination of truth, goodness and taste, we found a powerful analogy with our own business. Mapei products and solutions cannot actually be seen but their innovative/specialist nature helps make works more beautiful, sustainable and long-lasting, giving concrete form to designers’ ideas”.

To meet the technical-aesthetic challenge of building out of perishable materials capable of handling the foot traffic of the five million expected visitors, Mapei drew on all its expertise and technology, carrying out miscellaneous tests at its own laboratories.

Mapei also supplied the Italy Pavilion with products for resin and cement-based floors, installing ceramics and marbles, wall finishes and waterproofing, particularly ‘for the five pools containing three types of algae: Spirulina, Dunaliella and Haematococcus.

Thanks to the close vicinity of the Expo site to Mapei’s local headquarters, a cutting-edge plant inside Dubai Investment Park (DIP), which is Italy’s biggest manufacturing investment in the United Arab Emirates, Mapei has been an authentic project partner for the Italy Pavilion providing real-time consultancy for dealing with any issues arising during building work.

Mapei’s contribution to Expo Dubai actually extends beyond the boundaries of the Italy Pavilion. Its technology has been used in over 50 structures, everywhere from the public reception areas and auditoriums to the pavilions of other nations. The Italian multinational has also been involved in the construction of the Metro leading directly to the Expo Park.

Mapei’s involvement in Expos began with the construction of the Italy Pavilion for Expo Shanghai 2010. Since then, Mapei has been exporting Italian design and manufacturing to Expos, showcasing Italian excellence around the world and supporting the nation’s economy.

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