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Milan Expo 2015: Tsinghua University with Studio Link-Arc to Design China Pavilion

© Studio Link-Arc
© Studio Link-Arc

Tsinghua University, alongside New York-based Studio Link-Arc, has been announced as winners of a competition to design the Chinese Pavilion at the 2015 Milan Expo. Expanding on the Expo’s overarching theme, “Feeding the Planet - Energy for Life,” the pavilion’s “Land of Hope” is centered on the idea that “hope can be realized when nature and the city exist in harmony.” 

From the Winning Design Team: Rejecting the typical notion of a pavilion as an object in a plaza, the China Pavilion for the 2015 Milan Expo is instead conceived as a field of spaces. Designed as a cloud hovering over a “field of hope”, the pavilion is experienced as a sheltered public plaza beneath a floating roof that incorporates the building’s cultural and exhibition programs. The roof’s distinctive profile creates an iconic image for the project and will foster a unique presence within the Expo grounds.

© Studio Link-Arc
© Studio Link-Arc
© Studio Link-Arc
© Studio Link-Arc

The China Pavilion is themed “The Land of Hope”. The project embodies this theme through an undulating roof form, which is derived by merging the profile of a city skyline on the building’s north side with the profile of a landscape on the southern side, expressing the idea that “hope” can be realized when nature and the city exist in harmony. The Pavilion’s floating roof is designed as a timber structure that references the “raised-beam” system found in traditional Chinese architecture, but is adapted to accommodate modern construction technology. The roof is clad in shingled panels that reference traditional Chinese terra-cotta roof construction, but are reinterpreted as large bamboo panels that reduce structural weight, create a shaded public space below, and further enhance the Pavilion’s unique silhouette.

© Studio Link-Arc
© Studio Link-Arc

Beneath this roof, the building’s ground plane is defined by a landscape of wheat (the “field of hope”) that references China’s agrarian past and transitions seamlessly into a multimedia installation in the center. This installation, formed from a matrix of LED “stalks” that mimic the form of the wheat, forms the centerpiece of the building’s exhibition program. 

© Studio Link-Arc
© Studio Link-Arc
© Studio Link-Arc
© Studio Link-Arc

The Pavilion’s full exhibition and cultural offerings are experienced as a sequence of spaces, beginning with an exterior waiting area in the landscape, leading to a themed exhibition space with interactive installations and cultural offerings from forty Chinese provinces. After this, visitors are guided up a gently sloped public stair to a panoramic viewing platform above the LED matrix installation, after which they are guided into a multimedia space, which will feature a short film focused on returning home for the Spring Festival. This sequence concludes with visitors stepping outside onto a platform above the bamboo roof that enjoys expansive views of the Expo grounds.

© Studio Link-Arc
© Studio Link-Arc
  • Competition: Milan Expo 2015: China Pavilion
  • Award: First Prize
  • Architects: Studio Link-Arc, Tsinghua University
  • Location: Milan, Italy
  • Chief Architect: Yichen Lu (Tsinghua University + Studio Link-Arc)
  • Associate In Charge: Kenneth Namkung, Qinwen Cai (Studio Link-Arc)
  • Project Team: Shuning Fan, Hyunjoo Lee, Dongyul Kim, Xiaoshi Wang, Alban Denic , Zach Grzybowski (Studio Link-Arc)
  • Design Directors: Dan Su, Yue Zhang (Academy of Arts and Design, Tsinghua University)
  • Chief Designer: Yi Du (Academy of Arts and Design, Tsinghua University)
  • Exhibition Design: Yanyang Zhou, Danqing Shi (Academy of Arts and Design, Tsinghua University)
  • Landscape Design: Xiaosheng Cui ( Academy of Arts and Design, Tsinghua University)
  • Interior Design: Jiansong Wang (Academy of Arts and Design, Tsinghua University)
  • Installation Design: Danqing Shi, Feng Xian (Academy of Arts and Design, Tsinghua University)
  • Light Design: Yi Du (Academy of Arts and Design, Tsinghua University)
  • Visual Identity Design: Xin Gu (Academy of Arts and Design, Tsinghua University)
  • Client: China Council for the Promotion of International Trade
  • Structural Engineer: Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
  • Enclosure Engineer: Elite Facade Consultants + ATLV
  • Mep Engineer: Beijing Qingshang Environmental Art & Architectural Design
  • Project Year: 2015
  • Photographs: Studio Link-Arc
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite:Karissa Rosenfield. "Milan Expo 2015: Tsinghua University with Studio Link-Arc to Design China Pavilion" 08 Mar 2014. ArchDaily. Accesed . <http://www.archdaily.com/484524/milan-expo-2015-studio-link-arc-teams-with-tsinghua-university-to-design-china-pavilion/>