Italy Pavillion for Shanghai Expo 2010

Our friend Marcello Silvestre, from Iodice Architetti sent us their design por the Italian for the Shanghai World Expo 2010. Silvestre, along with Francesco Iodice and Giuseppe Iodice from Iodice Architetti worked with Giampaolo Imbrighi, Teresa Crescenzi, Antonello De Bonis, and Cosimo Dominelli in the design of the pavillion. The project proposes a building which integrates a typical model of the Italian urban building, with the architectural structure of the Chinese construction game called Shanghai. More images and architect’s description after the break.

The pavilion covers an area of 3.600 square metres and is 18 metres high. Inside it is divided into irregular sections of different dimensions, connected by a steel bridge structure where the connecting galleries are visible. If needed, the structure can be dismantled and reconstructed, on a smaller scale, in another part of the city.

The different sections of the building make up a geometrical variety symbolizing the tradition and regional customs which define the Italian identity: a type of mosaic of which each of the parts show a single picture. The form also highlights the topographic complexity of Italian cities, with its numerous short narrow roads and alleys which suddenly open onto a large square, a characteristic which can also be found in the traditional Chinese urban centres. A psychophysical effect of comfort is given by an internal garden, the presence of water and natural light which spreads throughout the area across the patios and by the walls.

Cite: Jordana, Sebastian. "Italy Pavillion for Shanghai Expo 2010" 04 May 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 29 May 2015. <>
  • xavi

    reminds me to Liebesikind…

  • xavi

    A little bit like Liebeskind, right?

  • Daniel Con

    i like the concept of streets and squares within the building. Is this transparent concrete?

  • stan

    its this crazy new material its called photoshop … you just have to think it… and it just does what you want it to.

    • Ametis

      The material used is translucent blocks, and this is a wonderful use of the blocks…

      Yes they do exist………..

  • Ahoy

    What material is it on the facade? Yes of course it’s photoshop now, but if this is really gonna be built then it has to be something realisable.

    That spatial quality- (topographic complexity?) of alleys and streets opening up to piazzas sounds interesting, look fwd to seeing the real thing.

  • Bo Lucky

    It’s an Expo pavilion so I can appreciate effort to make the design to stand out even for a price of common sense. A symbolism assigned to this simple form is, in my view, a bit overzealous. It is fortunate that this is a temporary structure… unfortunately many architects apply a similarly “philosophical” approach to justify their “outstanding” design proposals… and people then have to live with it…

  • Jimmy

    beautiful geometry!

  • stan

    i was just kidding… well if its translucent concrete it wont be load bearing as i believe the translucent concrete is not as developed technology as we would like it to be.

  • dustin

    translucent concrete is actually stronger than normal concrete.

  • stan


  • Bo Lucky
  • Lucas Gray

    II like the model a lot. And the narrow paths and courtyards seem like a fun place to explore. I also am interested in this fuzzy facade material. If its translucent concrete that could be interesting although that is a lot of heavy concrete for a temporary and “portable” building.

  • Marcus


  • Troy Lemieur

    Screw railings in 1700773309_06… haha

    I respect the cold simplicity, but I’m not digging the prints on facades of people standing. FROWN.

    • stefanni kasse

      there is no print on the facade.

      google translucent concrete and find some images to look at.

      translucent concrete is actually nothing more than concrete with small holes (about 1/8 in diameter) through the thickness of it.

      the result is concrete that allows someone on one side of the wall to see light from a source on the other side.
      if someone were to stand in front of that light source, the result is a bit creepy but also spectacular.

      their shadow is cast on the wall (hence the ‘prints’ you see) but where you the viewer stands, hardly any light reaches you anyway and nothing changes.

      simple ideas are often the best ones.

  • mobungo

    I love the interior spaces, but how this represents Italy? I don´t know ;)

  • CA

    The model is absolutely beautiful!

  • Terry Glenn Phipps

    Uh what? And here your see the devolution of the Italian spirit of innovation from Carlo Scarpa, Gae Aulenti, Ettore Sottsass, and generations of others to, well, this. It is a capannone just the same as you might see in any zona industriale of northern Italy. It, also, evokes a sense of ice skating rink for German tourists in Jesolo.

    Mind you this architect is the same exact guy, a limousine communist, who argues that the La Rinascente store in Rome ought to be torn down because it is air conditioned. The mind boggles at how this project squares with the over-emphasized sensitivity to all things ambientale. Oh yes, now I remember, it doesn’t square.

    It is really sad to think that this mockery of architecture is intended to represent one of the great nations of the world.

    Terry Glenn Phipps

    • Dandee

      wise words and perfect picture

  • Mas Anton

    You must be kidding with that unstructured massive glass windows.

  • joe shmo

    they are also made of translucent concrete

  • João

    love the model… and the first picture is also really nice…

  • Tom in London

    WHat a shame that with all the excellent architects there are in Italy, this derivative, dull, grey mediocrity was given the prize and will represent Italy in China. It will fail to impress anyone or sell Italian knowledge and products in China. As in so many things at official level, this project has “corruption” and “friends in high places” written all over it.

  • Dave

    you’ve got to be joking… aren’t we all sick of this sh*t yet?

    one word:

  • sérgio

    Simply amazing…

    About the temporary, portable building, i not agree. In Portugal, in EXPO98, some pavillions were build to rise a waterfront and still there.

    Great Building, Great shape, Love it.

  • Pingback: 1,000 Melbourne architects unemployed and more Pavilions for Shanghai | News Junkie

  • Bo Lucky

    “mockery of architecture” well said TGP… nothing more… nothing less… what’s wrong with the right angle? the voice from downunder speaks loud and clear too… wake up people to the 21 century as it is…

  • Liam

    Out Of Touch

  • Pingback: # On with the show! » Italy Pavillion for Shanghai Expo 2010

  • Spuciellamento

    when i looked at the first sight i’ve also thought that the pavillion remind me Libeskind… this because Libeskind turned into a kind of brand architecture within the last years and it’s easy to copy the ‘general appearance’ of libeskind’s buildings … however, the similarity of forms remains …
    second point, I partially agree with a previous comment by Terry Glenn Phipps, when he speaks of “devolution of the Italian spirit of innovation”. Me as an italian, I ask more than this to a design that as to represent my country, this design is somehow reducing the italian complexicity…
    on the third point I want to defend the guys that made the design for what is concerning materials and structure. This is just a competition preview, if there isn’t a precise design for the structure or whatever, i think that’s just normal and comprehensible.

  • 一直都想用透明混凝土.可是目前中国还没有用的..

  • Pingback: Shanghai World Expo 2010. « Aglomerando Evidências