Italy's global commercial fair, Milan Expo 2015 opened today. The six month event, expected to attract nearly 20 million visitors, is showcasing 54 national pavilions, among a number of corporate and multinational installations, all focused on "Feeding the Planet" and promoting their national cuisine. Pavilions by Foster + Partners, Herzog & de Meuron, SPEECH, Daniel Libeskind and many others will remain on view through October 31.
Take a look at some of the fair's most talked about pavilions on opening day, after the break.
Building up to the May 9 opening of OMA's Fondazione Prada, Italian filmmakers Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine have released 15-video series that captures the rhythmic and somewhat "transient" nature of the project's last month of construction. Part of a long ongoing relationship between Prada and OMA, the highly anticipated venue will be an "unusually diverse environment" sculpted from a historic 20th-century distillery south of Milan's city center that will be used to exhibit art.
Daniel Libeskind, together with Italian paint company Oikos, has transformed the Università Statale’s Pharmacy Courtyard into a garden of "Future Flowers" as part of the 2015 Milan Design Week. On view through May 24, the installation was inspired by one of Libeskind’s "Chamberwork" drawings. It features a series of intersecting red metal "blades" that represent a collection of Oikos paints developed by Libeskind.
Released in time for the opening of the Milan Furniture Show at EXPO 2015, ParkMapp is the ultimate guide to Milan's modern and contemporary architecture. An ongoing project by local architecture and design firm Park Associati, ParkMapp is a mobile app that identifies and geo-locates significant landmarks across the city. The app's sleek and legible interface is divided into modern and contemporary architecture, and features pictures and short descriptions of Milanese landmarks. A "lifestyle" section recommending cultural, retail, and dining attractions rounds out what Park Associati envisions as an "active map" for new and returning visitors alike. ParkMapp is available for download via the Apple App Store, or on Google play for Android devices.
The Museo delle Culture (Museum of Cultures), or MUDEC, has completed in Milan. Overshadowed by controversy, the building has made headlines this week due to a disagreement over its "poor quality" flooring that has led its architect (David Chipperfield) to disassociate himself with the project. Despite this, MUDEC is moving forward with plans to open on April 26. Take a look inside the building, after the break.
The poor quality and laying of stone flooring in Milan's newly completed Museum of Culture has led its architect, David Chipperfield to dissociate himself with the building. Blasting officials for skimping on materials, the British architect is demanding his name be removed from the project, claiming the building is now a "museum of horrors" and a "pathetic end to 15 years of work" due to the low quality flooring.
On the contrary, Milan's council says the material decision was made in the "interests of the taxpayers," further claiming that, according to councillor Filippo del Corno, Chipperfield has been "unreasonable and impossible to please."
It seems Jacques Herzog is not particularly excited about the opening of the 2015 Expo in Milan later this year. In an interview with uncube magazine Herzog - one half of Herzog & de Meuron, the Expo's masterplanners - explains why they left the project in 2011, along with collaborators Stefano Boeri, William McDonough and Ricky Burdett. In their absence, he says, the Expo will now feature their plan "only as an urbanistic and formal pattern, not as an intellectual concept," and their plan to transform the event into "a radically new vision for a world exhibition" has been twisted so that the Expo "will be the same kind of vanity fair that we’ve seen in the past." Read the full interview here.
“The splendor of the Italian cities are beautifully represented by their domes,” says Miralles Tagliabue EMBT. Embracing this notion, EMBT has designed a wooden dome for COPAGRI, a confederation of agricultural producers that brings together hundreds of Italian farmers, to showcase their products at the 2015 Milan Expo.
“The design started from the observation of Italian landscapes, both natural and man-shaped,” said EMBT in a press release. “In our project the domes are not only representing the magnificence of the Italian past, but they also show us potential for the future lying in the construction of domes.”
This tour - made possible through the Expo's Instagram account - gives us fresh insight into the development of projects like Daniel Libeskind'spavilion for Vanke, which is clad in a self-cleaning, air purifying, metalised tile, to Nemesi's 'smog-eating pavilion' for Italy. With the opening of the 2015 Universal Exposition set to take place in a little over one month's time Milan, for a six month period, will become a global showcase for the thematic study of food. With over 140 participating nations tackling the question of "how to be able to guarantee healthy, safe and sufficient food for everyone, while respecting the planet and its equilibrium," new innovations in architecture, engineering and material design will be central to the exhibitions.
See snapshots of the pavilions under construction after the break.
The first-place competition winner from KM 429 architecture, this proposal for the Isola Garibaldi Civic Center draws inspiration from Milan’s historic architectural tradition superimposed within the modern urban context. Through its refusal to be monumentalized, the Civic Center generates a new language within its neighborhood and looks to the city's past to create a vital civic architecture to serve present, and future, needs.
Herzog & de Meuron have unveiled the design for their Slow Food Pavilion, due for completion by the 2015 Milan Expo in May. Showcasing the work of Carlo Petrini's Slow Food organization, the pavilion promotes the global organization's vision of universal access to "good, clean and fair food."
Sited on a triangular piece of land in the Eastern end of the Expo's central boulevard, the pavilion uses a a triangular configuration of tables to evoke what Herzog & de Meuron describe as "an atmosphere of refectory and market."
Arup has unveiled a proposal to construct a new stadium for the Italian football club A.C. Milan in a central area of Milan. If built, the venue would integrate a “modern stage” for the team’s home matches with a hotel, sports college, restaurants, children’s playground and public open space.
“The project has been developed with a fully holistic and integrated approach where all the design components have been carefully balanced around the spectator’s experience,” stated Arup in a press release.
When first commissioned by Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli to design Fondazione Prada’s new space in Largo Asarco, OMA set out to “expand the repertoire of spatial typologies in which art can be exhibited and shared with the public.” The result, an “unusually diverse environment” staged within a historic 20th-century distillery south of Milan’s city center that goes beyond the traditional white museum box.
On Sunday, Prada ditched the classic runway to kickoff their 2015 Fall/Winter menswear line in a “disorienting landscape” designed by OMA’s research counterpart AMO. The partitioned catwalk transformed an exiting room inside the Fondazione Prada at Via Fogazzaro 36 in Milan into an intimate series of interconnected spaces affectionately referred to as “The Infinite Palace.”
“The existing room is disguised into a classic enfilade of rooms, gradually changing proportions as in an abstract mannerist perspective. As opposed to a single stage, the new sequence of spaces multiplies and fragments the show into a series of intimate moments,” described AMO.
Russia has released designs for their participation at Milan Expo 2015. Taking in consideration Russia’s most successful world EXPO pavilions, of which the country has been producing since 1851, and the importance of “green technologies,” SPEECH has designed an expansive 4000-square-meter timber structure with a pronounced roofline that features a mirrored canopy extending 30-meters over the pavilion’s main entrance.
Azerbaijan has recently unveiled the design of “Treasure of Biodiversity,” its dedicated pavilion for Expo Milano 2015, marking the first time the country has participated at a Universal Exposition. Designed by Italian firm Simmetrico Network, the pavilion aims to reflect the unique cultures and landscapes of Azerbaijan while acting as a model of sustainable design. Complete with biospheres and undulating walls, the pavilion’s unique form takes cues from the central Expo theme of “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life,” and hopes to engage visitors with the values of protected biodiversity.