Vo Trong Nghia has unveiled designs for the Vietnamese pavilion at the 2015 Milan Expo. Inspired by the lotus, the pavilion features a number of bamboo clad, umbrella-like structures supporting trees above a pool of water, in a composition reminiscent of their Kontum Indochine Cafe.
"The Lotus is Vietnam’s national flower, a symbol of purity, commitment and optimism for the future," say the architects. "Growing from the muddy ponds it rises above the surface to bloom with remarkable beauty. The flower is proof that patience can turn difficulties into advantages."
In addition to the symbolism behind the lotus, Vo Trong Nghia also use the flower as a metaphor for resourcefulness: "Apart from its beauty, the lotus has a strong connection with Vietnamese cuisine; none of the plant is left for waste, with all parts of the plant considered a delicacy... As a temporary event, the architect’s role in designing the pavilion is to reduce its impact."
To do so, the design uses bamboo extensively, a fast-growing and low-carbon material. The pavilion is also designed to be disassembled so that its parts can be reused.
For its visitors, the pavilion will provide shade under the bamboo structures and trees, while the 'Lotus Pond' that permeates the building's floor will provide a cool microclimate inside the pavilion. A folding screen will provide protection from the elements on cooler days, however on warm days the screen can be removed, and the pavilion will be cooled by the breeze.
With the pavilion, Vo Trong Nghia hopes to demonstrate "the Vietnamese love of nature which will be shared with the whole world."
Principal ArchitectVo Trong Nghia
Design TeamTakashi Niwa, Raffaello Rosselli, Marek Obtulovic, Nguyen Viet Hung, Dau Nhat Quang, Hoang Quoc Bao
PhotographsCourtesy of Vo Trong Nghia Architects
Photographsvia Vo Trong Nghia Architects