Italy has just unveiled its national pavilion, conceived by CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati, Italo Rota Building Office, matteogatto&associati and F&M Ingegneria. In collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the U.A.E, the project is a metaphor for the journey from Italy to Dubai.
With a theme that explores recycling, circularity and digitally reconfigurable architecture, the pavilion is made out of 3 boats, that will be converted into the roofscape and the backbone of the structure. In fact, “the radical design is based on a circular approach to architecture”. Integrating sustainability in the core of the concept, the project utilizes specific construction materials such as orange peels and coffee grounds that will clad the skywalk, mycelium and recycled plastic extracted from the ocean to engage with the circular economy. Moreover, the exhibition incorporates local materials from Dubai such as real sand. Natural climate control strategies are also used inside of the project.
“We liked the idea of a pavilion that would continuously mutate into different forms, […] We pursued a kind of architecture that could be reconfigured both in the long term – because of its circularity – and in the short term – thanks to digital technologies.” -- Carlo Ratti, founding partner of CRA practice and director of the MIT Senseable City Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Set to open its doors to the public from October 20th, 2020, till April 10th, 2021 in Dubai, U.A.E., the pavilion explores “the importance of history, tradition and memory in sparking innovation, while paying tribute to the seafaring populations that have inhabited the Mediterranean basin through history, shaping a common cultural heritage”. Regarding the roof, the main element of the composition, its surface “recalls sea and desert waves”. On another hand, the accessible base is “carved out of a giant sand dune”. A façade made of LED curtains and nautical ropes, broadcasts multimedia content.
“The pavilion is circular in nature. Nothing goes to waste; instead, we reclaim it and reimagine its purpose, […] The sea will figuratively enter the structure through one of its living organisms, seaweeds, which will be used to produce energy and food.” -- Italo Rota, founding partner of Italo Rota Building Office.
Conceived by CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati, an international design and innovation office, based in Turin, the project is part of the firm’s continuous experimentation with innovative exhibition structures, like the Digital Water Pavilion, a water-based structure at Expo Zaragoza 2008, named as one of the “Best Inventions of the Year” by Time magazine.
"Italy brings an Innovation Hub to Expo 2020, […] A pavilion with an innovative structure, inspired by the most advanced elements of sustainability and circular economy, which will not simply be an exhibition venue, but a demonstration of Italian competence and the best national talent”. -- Paolo Glisenti, General Commissioner for Italy at Expo Dubai 2020.