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Top 10 Pavilions at Expo Milano 2015

Expo Milano 2015 is in full swing, after more than seven years’ preparation. Going back over 160 years, this is one of the longest-standing international events. The central theme for this edition is Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life, covering the fields of technology, innovation, culture, traditions and creativity as related to food and diet. After touring the exhibition site for several days, we have drawn up a selection of the 10 best pavilions. This was no easy task, as this year there are over 145 participating countries.

10. Mexican Pavilion

The Mexican pavilion, designed by the Loguer Design firm, features an external structure in the shape of a large corn cob. The interior replicates to scale the agricultural irrigation system applied in the Mexican Basin during the reign of King Nezahualcóyotl, a veritable achievement in sustainability which involved harnessing the environment without degrading it.

9. Spanish Pavilion

Designed by the firm, B720 Fermín Vázquez Arquitectos. In an event of this order, which promotes healthy eating, the Mediterranean diet takes centre stage. The Spanish Pavilion combines the structure of a greenhouse with that of a traditional granary. On display in the latter is produce used in regional cuisine, as well as the processes involved in food growing and production.

8. Italian Pavilion

The Italian Pavilion, designed by Nemesi & Partners Srl, Proger SpA and BMS Progetti Srl, connects up with the various exhibition areas, the auditorium and the conference halls. The building is well worth visiting, the axes of which are fused with the structure itself. Here, too, the architecture is sustainable, based on evocative avenues and the use of new technologies.

7. China Pavilion

The undulating Chinese Pavilion was created by a consortium of Tsinghua University, the Beijing Qingshang Environmental & Architectural Design Institute, and the New York Studio Link-Arc team. Based on the theme, "Land of Hope, Food for Life", it showcases this huge nation’s progress in feeding its people through agriculture and distribution. The interior features a stunning field created by LEDs, simulating cultivation according to the Chinese lunisolar calendar.

6. Austrian Pavilion

This is actually a lush forest, located in the open air, enabling visitors to wander among the foliage and breathe fresh air. The leafy vegetation sets up a microclimate so that, although uncovered, the shade provided by the trees endows the structure with a temperature five degrees lower than the surrounding area. The forest generates enough oxygen for 1,800 visitors every hour.

5. Ecuador Pavilion

This is one of the most widely acclaimed projects among both the critics and the public at large, the work of the Spanish studio, Zorrozúa y Asociados. The theme, "Journey to the Center of Life", is implemented to perfection on the facade of the Ecuador Pavilion, as are others, such as the opportunities provided by the agricultural sector in terms of sustainable development, common welfare, the fight against hunger and feeding the world’s cultures and ethnic groups. A prominent feature are the curtains covering the whole building, the work of KriskaDECOR. This is the first time the whole surface of a pavilion has been clad with curtains.

4. German Pavilion

This pavilion is known as the “Fields of Ideas”. You can’t get more German than that, can you? Architectural devices have been used to reflect Germany’s rich, natural landscapes, including sinuous curves, a huge green canopy and enormous solar trees which produce energy using organic photovoltaic technology. We followed a route through the “sources of nutrition” – water, soil, climate and biodiversity – before arriving at the “Garden of Ideas”. The pavilion has numerous secluded spots for relaxing and taking in the landscapes and live music, DJ sessions and other shows.

3. Brazil Pavilion

Here, architecture and stage scenery are combined to provide visitors with an experience of Brazilian values. Implemented very successfully is the idea of a soft, decentralised, flexible network pervading the whole structure. According to its artificers, it stands for the country’s pluralism. Set in the middle of 130 other buildings, the Brazil Pavilion is a good place to take a breather – we took one – by way of a public square that attracts passers-by.

2. United Arab Emirates Pavilion

Designed by the iconic architectural studio, Foster + Partners, it features tall, undulating walls reflecting the UAE’s desert landscapes. This structure is built to provide a cool interior, as the 12-metre-high walls protect against the sun and set up shaded walkways for visitors. Strolling along them led us to the open-air exhibition areas, ending in a striking gold auditorium.

1. United Kingdom Pavilion

For us, the stand-out UK Pavilion is the most spectacular of them all for its originality and the way the theme has been implemented in actuality. Designed by the British artist, Wolfgang Buttress, it is strikingly reminiscent of a honeycomb. Visitors to the pavilion follow the path of a bee, winding their way through a field of flowers, to the heart of the bee hive. Sounds and visual signs are synchronised in real time to an actual bee-hive in the United Kingdom. The sounds emitted by the queen bee can be heard throughout the exhibition and the light provided by LEDs swells in response to an increase in the activity of the bees.

Don’t miss out on Milan. What better way to discover the present and future of many of the world’s nations than by visiting a Universal Exhibition? Come and check out our flights here.


Text by ISABELYLUIS Comunicación

Images by Expo Milano 2015

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