France has said construction work on its Expo 2020 pavilion is on-track to meet the September 2020 handover target.
“With the support of our talented team that has been working non-stop, as well as the immense support we have received from the team at Expo, we anticipate construction to conclude by June 2020, with a complete handover shortly before the launch," said Philippe Mille, pavilion director.
The French pavilion is located in the Mobility district at the Expo site. A joint venture of Belgium's Besix and Swiss firm Nussli Group was awarded the main contract for the pavilion, and Atelier du Prado and Celnikier & Grabli were appointed as the architects. Construction works commenced in May 2019.
Structural works are now complete, with the blockworks nearing completion and mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) work under way. The pavilion will have a 2,700 square-metre external facade covered with photovoltaic (PV) panels, for which assembly will start towards the end of March.
The affirmation comes at a time when the Covid-19 outbreak is affecting major events around the globe, with ramifications at the Expo 2020 site.
The World Expo’s press office noted in a statement that the organisers were “working closely with the UAE’s Ministry of Health & Prevention to apply the guidance that they have provided”.
The statement added: “Expo does not open until October this year, and we will continue to follow the situation closely. We are hopeful that global efforts will succeed in managing the virus.”
Several major events have already been cancelled or postponed across the UAE, including the Abu Dhabi Paratriathlon World Cup, Ultra Abu Dhabi, Art Dubai, Dubai Lynx and Taste of Dubai.
More than 89,000 people across 58 countries have been infected by Covid-19, while the death toll has exceeded 3,000. Following an announcement from the UAE Ministry of Education, schools and higher education institutions in the UAE will remain closed for four weeks from 8 March as the country seeks to contain the spread of the new coronavirus that causes the Covid-19 illness.
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