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RIBA Client Adviser case study: UK Pavilion Dubai 2020

Project title: UK Pavilion Dubai 2020 with the Department for International Trade
RIBA Client Adviser: Nigel Maynard
Client Advice and Technical Services team: Es Devlin with Avantgarde and Veretec
Project type: Cultural
Project value: Classified

The Pavilion’s 20 metre high glowing LED façade will beam out a collective AI-generated global message © Es Devlin and Avantgarde

The UK Pavilion for Dubai Expo 2020 is being designed for the Department for International Trade (DIT) by Es Devlin with Avantgarde Architects, with a full and complete team of creative media, performers and scientific advisers. Mace were appointed in February 2018 to deliver project management, design management, commercial management and procurement support through pre-construction through to delivery and deconstruction.

Following in the traditions of Grimshaw’s Seville Pavilion, Heatherwick’s Seed Cathedral for Shanghai, Buttress’ Hive in Milan and Khan’s Yurt for Astana, Es Devlin and Avantgarde were announced as the winners of the international design competition for the UK Pavilion for Dubai Expo UK Pavilion 2020. The project comprises a cross-laminated timber cone which will collect words from the visiting public, which will then be broadcast as algorithmic poems illuminated on the façade and performed within the cone itself. The UK’s innovation and development of artificial intelligence and space exploration will be exhibited in the maze that leads up to and away from the cone. The wedge under the cone will accommodate performance, administrative, meeting and catering facilities.

Visitors arrive through an illuminated maze featuring augmented reality enriched exhibits on British advances in artificial intelligence and space © Es Devlin and Avantgarde

Key learning

Interviewing for the role, Nigel Maynard advised the Department for International Trade's interview panel that he was a Client Adviser with the RIBA and declared his passion for the delivery of quality design outcomes aligned firmly with robust project and design management processes. Having a RIBA Client Adviser within the team certainly enhanced Mace’s offer.

As a RIBA Client Adviser Nigel wrote key sections of the design procurement and technical documentation and was a panel member for all stages of the design procurement leading to the final interviews and appointment of Es Devlin and Avantgarde.

Nigel has provided design advice to the DIT. The production of a design management plan, design process and work stage guidance, design specification and deliverables documentation, buildability advice, facilitated value management workshops. Technical advice. Technical Panel and Buildability Jury member. Design and Contractor Procurement questionnaire documentation support. A design intelligent but critical friend to the project management and DIT team.

As a Design Adviser Nigel has been able to develop and shape the technical requirements of the competition into a submission that is now ready to be developed and submitted to the Dubai Expo authorities, the strongest submission seen to date at concept stage. The design team are clear about what needs to be delivered and realise that they have a client side representative who understands and respects the design process, the team and the complexities of multi-disciplinary delivery. The next steps will see intelligent review of the design programme and oversight of the development of the design through Stage 3 and 4 with milestone reviews at agreed key dates and of the stakeholder engagement plans. Nigel will ensure a smooth transition to the contractor interface for the construction phase.

“Nigel helped us from the outset to understand our way through the design process, design development and acted as an independent adviser on selecting our design team and contractor.” - Dept. of International Trade

“Nigel’s knowledge of the construction process and technical detail has enabled us to make value decisions and to intelligently question the development of this flag ship project for the Department.” - Dept. of International Trade

RIBA accredited Client Advisers are experienced architects that can provide impartial and informed advice from the earliest stages of your project. Find out more about why a Client Adviser may be right for your project, how to choose one, and read more case study examples.

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