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Elevating Finnish happiness in Dubai

No, it’s not a mirage! Snow is coming to the Dubai desert this year in the form of Lumi, or Snow Cape, to envelop the values of Finland at Expo 2020 Dubai. And top-of-the-line KONE DX Class elevator with built-in connectivity will be on center stage in the Finland Pavilion delighting visitors.

October 1, 2021

The challenge at the world exposition is for each participating country to encapsulate their values and strengths in their own pavilion. For Finland, smart, connected devices help capture the secret to their success: achieving the ideal balance between people, nature, and technology.

“The KONE DX Class digital experience elevator will have prime location at the center of Finland Pavilion in Dubai for the next six months,” says Visa Rauta, head of design at KONE. “But in keeping with our customer vision, the elevator itself should not be the main event. Like all our elevators, it will be there to serve the needs of the people and the place.”

Thanks to its built-in connectivity, KONE DX Class elevator enhances the Finland Pavilion visitor experience.
Thanks to its built-in connectivity, KONE DX Class elevator enhances the Finland Pavilion visitor experience.

Sharing future happiness with the world

Designed to resemble an Arabic tent made of snow, the Finland Pavilion will bring together the country’s snow-capped views with the desert setting of Dubai. Backed by Finland’s continued status as the happiest nation in the world, the main theme will be ‘Sharing Future Happiness’.

As part of the experience, visitors to the pavilion will be taken on a journey through Finland’s key strengths: nature and sustainability, education and know-how, and functionality and well-being.

This journey will be staged by more than 100 Finnish companies, partners, and business clusters, and KONE DX Class digital experience elevator will be there to help them shine. “The role of the KONE DX Class elevator will be to enhance each partner’s visual look and feel, by tailoring it to their distinct technical requirements,” Rauta explains.

Enhancements that the KONE DX Class elevator will provide in presenting this story of Finland will range from laser-powered projectors and touch screens designed to interact with the elevator exterior and a custom-made podium, to animated, interactive games and programmable light shows. This is all made possible by the built-in connectivity KONE DX Class elevators offer as standard – as the world’s first elevator series to do so.

Digital enhancements include laser-powered projectors, touch screens, interactive games, and light shows.
Digital enhancements include laser-powered projectors, touch screens, interactive games, and light shows.

Sustainable journey to Dubai

Jouni Salojärvi, senior expert, reference design team leader at KONE, has been hands on during the summer with the KONE DX Class elevator conception and journey from Hyvinkää, Finland to Dubai. He praises the cross-border collaboration, describing it as strong and rewarding.

Following the customization and optimization of the elevator for the Pavilion site, which he directed in Finland, Salojärvi personally oversaw the wrapping and shipping of the elevator in more than ten mostly container-size packages before flying himself off to Dubai to supervise the on-site construction.

“We put sustainability at the forefront of the whole project effort, including transportation,” Salojärvi asserts. “That means sending absolutely only the things we need and the most high-quality materials and equipment. Of course, the reality is that we do have to use conventional shipping methods, although I dreamed of sending it by Hyperloop.”

Delivering something of this magnitude is also a big investment, but from the point of view of economic sustainability, Rauta sees the value. “The experience in terms of collecting high-level feedback in the Finland Pavilion will be invaluable for delivering future happiness to a global audience,” he says.

The Finland Pavilion will stay in place in Dubai for the next five years.

Every effort was made to ensure that the journey of the elevator from Finland to Dubai was sustainable.
Every effort was made to ensure that the journey of the elevator from Finland to Dubai was sustainable.

Ready for the big reveal

On the ground in Dubai there are many challenges to overcome. High temperatures put stress on the equipment, which also needs to be resistant to sand.

“Sandstorms come thick and quick and are sometimes so strong that you really feel them in your eyes and lungs,” Salojärvi recalls. “However, our digital predictive maintenance, KONE 24/7 Connected Services, and module-based design for sustainability makes it easy to replace parts, and with low environmental impacts.”

The Pavilion site has been one big puzzle to solve. “Aside from the huge technological set up,” says Salojärvi, “we need to cooperate fully among our partners to make sure we do things in a certain order and that we can all meet our deadlines for a perfect finish.”

Rauta is looking forward to a fairy tale ending with everything ready for the first visitors to the Finland Pavilion in October 2021. And with the majority of those visitors likely to be Middle Eastern or Asian, many may not have experienced snow before.

“That’s why together with the Pavilion partners we want to try and evoke a reaction from people through digital experience,” Rauta explains. “Maybe it’s a memory of real snow, or maybe it’s a memory of a movie or childhood story about snow, but we want to connect with them emotionally.”

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