The “Trellis”or shading structure is designed to relate to the Expo 2020 “logo” aesthetics. The dome is approximately 80m high and 150m in diameter and consists of unique structural steel tube welded hollow sections. Openings at the base will be designed to relate to key buildings and parcels around Al Wasl such as the UAE pavilion, Cultural Plaza, and the Arrivals Plaza.

Given RBG’s extensive experience in complex structures, RBG was requested by Meraas to act as its 3rd party structural engineering reviewer for the structure. RBG collaborated with AS+GG and TT on the project on various aspects of the design. Subsequent to this, RBG was requested by the Main Contractor – Cimolai Rimond Middle East (CRME) – to act as its Design Manager and Structural Reviewer for the Construction Engineering works on the project.

RBG has advised CRME on the Construction Methodology and Erection Sequence (CMES) and provided recommendations on the correction design which involves complex, non-codified connection arrangements.

Project Value:
Year Start / Completed:
2018 – 2019
Building Metrics:
Total Area: 20,000m²
Culture & Entertainment
Expo 2020 Dubai

RBG Client:
Meraas and Cimolai Rimond Middle East
Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill
Robert Bird Group Services:
Structural Engineering
Civil Engineering
Construction Engineering
Mock-up Design

Key technical challenges

  • The primary tower structure consists of a composite slab and beam structure. Due to the long beam spans and thin slab, extensive analysis for footfall vibration was required to ensure the structure achieved code requirements and client expectations.
  • Working with the existing structure and developing design solutions that strengthened rather than demolished.
  • Extensive co-ordination with the mechanical engineer to develop a strategy that minimised beam penetrations and beam notches.
  • Differential shortening analysis with consideration of mega truss, steel structure, concrete structure and existing structural elements

Environmental performance

  • 5 Star Greenstar
  • 5 Star NABERs Energy and 4 Star NABERs Water ratings.

Key technical challenges

RBG redesigned the steel plunge columns enabling complex bracing arrangements and programme hold-points to be removed, hence simplifying excavation and improving health and safety. The ground floor slab was redesigned for significant construction loads and to prop the basement wall whilst maintaining a large void to allow the core to rise.

RBG also checked all permanent works elements for the temporary loads induced by the innovative construction sequence. The construction method further reduced the ground movements, thereby minimising the risk to sensitive network rail facilities adjacent to the site.

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