Milan Expo 2015: Shortlisted Designs Revealed for UK Pavilion

Team 2. Image Courtesy of UKTI

Details have been released on the eight proposals competing to serve as the UK Pavilion at the 2015 Milan Expo. Each design draws inspiration from the theme “Grown in Britain: Shared Globally,” which is intended to showcase Britain’s contribution in research, innovation and entrepreneurship to the global food challenges. 

Presented anonymously, the proposals will be reviewed by an esteemed jury before a winner is announced in May. 

Check out all the innovative proposals, after the break…

Competition Entry: Romanian Pavilion (Milan Expo 2015) / Collective East Architects

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Placing sixth in the competition to design the Romanian Pavilion for the 2015 Milan Expo, Collective East Architects offered a “simple and powerful landmark” that focuses on the history of Romania’s agriculture. Serving as an “attractor and orientation mark,” the structure was conceived by repeating a traditional Romanian pattern that “transformed the pavilion into a sculptural object with a powerful national identify.” From a distance, the facade appears “introverted and impenetrable;” as viewers move closer, the building begins to expose its contents, revealing a level of detail one would expect in a “jewelry museum.”  

Competition Entry: Austrian Pavilion (Milan Expo 2015) / Paolo Venturella

© wemage, Courtesy of

Placing fifth in the international competition to design the Austrian Pavilion for the 2015 Milan Expo, Paolo Venturella’s concept is designed as an extruded version of the Austrian mountain house that connects two major programs: an exhibition space and “big green-house.” To the north, the elevated exhibition space is shielded by a fabric sheathing which diminishes as it moves towards the greenhouse, south, where visitors are presented with a fresh vegetable garden, bar and restaurant that serves traditional cuisine. 

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

© 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 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.”

Milan Expo 2015: Eight Teams Shortlisted to Design UK Pavilion

Site, prior to construction

Eight multidisciplinary teams have been selected to move forward in the second stage of competition to design the UK Pavilion for the 2015 Milan Expo. Drawing inspiration from the theme “Grown in Britain: Shared Globally,” the teams will now envision proposals that showcase Britain’s contribution in research, innovation and entrepreneurship to the global challenges addressed by the overarching exposition theme, “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.” Presentations will commence mid-April and a winner will be announced in May. View the selected teams, after the break.

UK Pavilion Milan Expo 2015 Design Competition

The British Government will showcase Britain’s distinctive qualities of creativity and enterprise to millions of international visitors through the UK Pavilion at Milan Expo 2015.

Competing with pavilions from 140+ countries, the Pavilion will address the overall Expo theme, Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life, which asks the question: is it possible to ensure sufficient, good, healthy and sustainable food for everyone on the planet? While the Expo’s central theme is nutrition, explored in terms of food production and consumption, participating countries are also asked to examine how to nurture the environment and celebrate the life-enhancing and social aspects of food.

The new Pavilion should build on the perception of the UK established by its Pavilion at Shanghai Expo 2010 and the London 2012 Olympic Games. As one of the most entrepreneurial countries in the world and currently benefiting from a strongly-growing economy, Britain’s unique global contribution flows from its values and attributes − as an open, innovative, collaborative and diverse nation.

The challenge is to invent a structure that represents a British take on the Expo theme. The Expo organisers have asked for pavilions which are designed in relation to their content and add to their significance. The overall concept needs to be original, visually compelling and memorable. The project presents a fascinating opportunity for an exceptional team to come to world attention.

This is a fast-track competition – Expressions of Interest by 19th February 2014. For all the details regarding submission, please go to the competition’s official website.

Milan Expo 2015: NJP, LAD Win Competition for Iranian Pavilion

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Naqsh,E,Jahan-Pars (NJP), in collaboration with the Laboratorio di Architettura e Design (LAD), has been named winner of an international competition for the Iranian Pavilion at the 2015 Expo. Based on “a living process narrative in the central plateau of Iran,” the winning scheme responds to the Expo’s “Feeding the Planet” theme by exposing the underground channels of water that give life to Iran’s many desert cities. 

Competition Entry: Austrian Pavilion (Milan Expo 2015) / Bence Pap | Mario Gasser

© Bence Pap |

This proposal by architects Bence Pap and Mario Gasser of Studio Greg Lynn / University of Applied Arts Vienna has been ranked fourth in an international competition for the Austrian Pavilion at the 2015 Milan Expo. Inspired by the Expo’s theme, “We feed the World – Energy for Life,” the pavilion aims to highlight ’s rich culture of craft and agriculture by offering a two-story experience that exhibits goods unique to the country.

Milan Expo 2015: Foster Unveils Design for UAE Pavilion

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Foster + Partners have unveiled the design for the pavilion at the 2015 Milan Expo. Designed to evoke the experience of walking through UAE’s ancient communities, the elongated site will be transformed into a contemporary reinterpretation of a desert city. Passive principles, such as rainwater harvesting and the integration of photovoltaic cells, are targeted to achieve LEED Platinum certification. These strategies are all designed to support the pavilion’s many dining areas, which embrace the Expo’s overarching theme “Feeding the Planet” by serving a taste of modern Emirarti cuisine. 

“We are very proud to be chosen again to create the national pavilion for the UAE,” stated Norman Foster. “Our challenge has been to design for two climates – to create a naturally cool, comfortable space for visitors in Milan, while considering the pavilion’s ultimate reconstruction in the Emirates, where there is a need to provide shade from the intense sun.”

Competition Entry: Iran Pavilion (Expo Milan 2015) / New Wave Architecture

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New Wave Architecture‘s proposal (one of eight) for the 2015 Milan Expo demonstrates an essence of Iran brought together in a series of organic forms. The expo’s theme, Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life, is encapsulated the designer’s exploration of the trace of cookery in culture, literature and Iranian art. The conceptual idea behind New Wave’s proposal, The Persian Garden, reflects the cycle of a tree: the organism is fed by the soil, grows and blossoms, before nourishing people and spreading throughout the earth “to asset its support.”

“Austria. Naturally Yours” Competition Entry / penda

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In an effort to “feed the world,” penda, in collaboration with Alex Daxboeck, has won first runner-up in the two-stage competition for the Austrian Pavilion at the 2015 Milan Expo. Supporting the Expo’s theme, penda’s proposal plans to be designed and harvested by its visitors, who will plant herbs, vegetables and fruits all over it throughout the duration of the seven-month event. By the end of the Expo, the pavilion will be fully taken over by organic food, which will then be prepared by chefs and served back to the visitors in the Pavilion-Restaurant. 

Milan Expo 2015

© herzog & demeuron
© Herzog & de Meuron

The conceptual master plan for the Milan World Exposition 2015 resulted from the teamwork of five architects: Jacques Herzog, Mark Rylander, Ricky Burdett, Stefano Boeri, and .  Working with the theme “feeding the planet, energy for life”, the exposition will be a planetary botanical garden that will “feed Milan literally, spiritually and intellectually.”  The architects created the framework for the exposition and organized an orthogonal bridge that contains an agrofood park and is surrounded by water ways.

More about the new concept after the break.