i-Mesh Expo 2020 Dubai canopies, Werner Sobek UAE fabric design photos, Textile surfaces

i-Mesh Expo 2020 Dubai canopies design

26 October 2021

Design: Werner Sobek

i-Mesh Expo 2020 Dubai canopies

Unveiled – the canopies of Expo 2020 Dubai designed by Werner Sobek, made with an innovative textile fiber.

i-Mesh Expo 2020 Dubai Canopy

New fabric for architecture. 2.7 kilometers of retractable textile surfaces provide 52,500 square meters of lightness and technology, acting as a screen between land and sky: i-Mesh, a Made in Italy technical fabric, allows the realization of a highly-performing cover for Expo’s promenade.

i-Mesh Expo 2020 Dubai canopies

Dubai, United Arab Emirates | A high-tech, green, textile material, defined by the strength and flexibility of the fibers, softness and well-calibrated weight.

Werner Sobek UAE fabric design

It is called i-Mesh the material used by German studio Werner Sobek to cover the Expo 2020 Dubai promenade: 2.7 km of Made in Italy technical fabric for architecture, for a total area of 52,500 square meters.

i-Mesh Expo 2020 Dubai canopies

It can be called soft architecture: an ethereal, translucent “cloud” hanging between land and sky that protects from the heat during the day and transforms into a projection screen at night. The i-Mesh fabric – better performing, more sustainable, and more versatile for the local climate – features the distinctive patterns of a modern “Mashrabiya”, the latticework traditionally used in the architecture of Arab countries.

i-Mesh Expo 2020 Dubai canopies

Alberto Fiorenzi, the founder of i-Mesh, started from his experience in the aerospace and nautical sectors to create a new, highly-performing material for architecture, conceived from the viewpoint of circularity and maximum customization. i-Mesh flourished in a sandstorm resistance test, remaining intact without ripping thanks to the strength and flexibility of its fibers, soft material, and well-calibrated weight.

Dubai UAE fabric design by Werner Sobek

“The Dubai Shade Structures perfectly embody the combination of lightweight construction, innovation and design that we seek out in all our projects,” according to Werner Sobek, who has designed a structure that is both light and robust thanks to the highly engineered solutions and advanced technologies adopted. The result is an innovative project from multiple points of view.

Dubai fabric canopy design by Werner Sobek

Collaborating with i-Mesh allowed him to build the largest retractable cover ever made. It is the first canopy produced with only 3% waste of virgin material, compared to the standard 25% of the textile industry. It is also the first time that a start-up has been awarded an order in an Expo project.

i-Mesh Expo 2020 Dubai canopies

i-Mesh allows imagining a new architectural paradigm. A type of soft architecture which designs softer, more flexible, versatile spaces that focus on human beings and their well-being. Inclusive and welcoming spaces, they “react” to the real needs of people, ensuring visual and environmental comfort. i-Mesh is the thread that binds everything, a “touch” material that has found its most important expressive manifestation at Expo 2020 Dubai.

i-Mesh Expo 2020 Dubai canopies

Applied on a large urban scale for the first time, i-Mesh covers the main walkways connecting the areas of Expo 2020 Dubai. It does not block the view of the sky nor the passage of air, but instead repels solar radiation, providing a feeling of comfort while maintaining a pleasant microclimate. Werner Sobek‘s idea was to recreate the intimate and familiar character of a retractable pergola, but with significant dimensions: an idea that i-Mesh allowed him to transform into reality.

i-Mesh Expo 2020 Dubai canopies

i-Mesh, cover of Expo 2020 Dubai. Project by Werner Sobek. Ph credits i-Mesh

Dubai fabric canopy mesh by Werner Sobek

Design: Werner Sobek

Werner Sobek Dubai UAE fabric design

Werner Sobek

i-Mesh Expo 2020 Dubai canopies design images / information received 261021

Location: Jebel Ali, Dubai, UAE

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