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.
Wolfgang Buttress' “pulsating” beehive is one of the first pavilions to complete for the 2015 Milan Expo. Serving as the UK's contribution, “BE,” the “virtual hive” is designed to highlight the plight of the honeybee and offer an “immersive sensory experience” that leaves visitors with a “lasting flavor of the British landscape.”
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.
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.
Architects, Engineers, Artists, Designers and students from all around the world are invited to participate in the Expo Milano 2015 with projects that propose solutions to the theme of the Expo Milano 2015 “Feeding the planet, energy for life.” Participants are also being encouraged to submit proposals that solve some of the main challenges that our society is facing, such as the rapid population growth and all the problems that this brings (destruction of the ecosystems, social divisions, scarcity of resources, etc.). This exhibition desires to showcase different architectural, construction, urban and social solutions promoting its different authors in the Universal Exposition.
“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.
This tour - made possible through the Expo's Instagram account - gives us fresh insight into the development of projects like Daniel Libeskind's pavilion 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.
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."
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.
It seems as though the complex case of architectural copyright has been a major talking point of 2014. As the year begins to draw to a close, a fresh tension has risen between two European offices. British practice Wilkinson Eyre have claimed that a central structure at the site of the 2015 Milan Expo is direct plagiarism of their Cooled Conservatories at Gardens by the Bay project in Singapore, completed in 2012. According to an article in The Telegraph, the 'Tree of Life' will "form the centre-piece of the Italian pavilion" in Milan.
The 2015 Milan Expo has been keeping architecture fans in the loop with "Belvedere in Città," its continuing series of videos filmed with the help of a drone. Since our update last month, two new videos have been released - and now that the recognizable forms of the pavilions are starting to emerge, the videos include labels for each feature of the expo site. With the help of these new videos it is easy to see the forms of highly-touted pavilions such as Libeskind's Vanke Pavilion, or Nemesi & Partners' smog-eating pavilion for Italy, gradually taking shape around the twin axes of the "cardo" and "decumanus," an ancient Roman planning tool borrowed for the site's masterplan by Jacques Herzog, Mark Rylander, Ricky Burdett, Stefano Boeri, and William McDonough. Read on after the break for the second video, and screenshots of the construction works.
SoNo Arhitekti’s design for the Slovenian Pavilion has been chosen to represent the country at the 2015 Milan Expo. One of 142 participants, Slovenia’s pavilion will be based on the slogan, "I FEEL SLOVENIA. Green. Active. Healthy.”
Knafo Klimor Architects have been chosen to represent Israel at the 2015 Milan Expo with their “Fields of Tomorrow” pavilion. The elongated pavilion, stretching 70 meters across and rising 12 meters high, will act as a “living” billboard revealing Israel’s past and present successes in modern agriculture.
Barcelona’s b720 arquitectos has designed a greenhouse-inspired pavilion to represent Spain at the 2015 Milan Expo. Representing a “fusion” of Spain’s gastronomic tradition and innovation, the portico-like structure will be divided into two halves and united by a repetitious form.
New York-based firm Biber Architects has unveiled its design for the US pavilion - "American Food 2.0: United to Feed the Planet" - at the Milan Expo 2015. An airy, barn-inspired structure, the design represents the pavilion’s food-centric theme, focusing on a farm-to-table food model and sustainable production.
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.
Daniel Libeskind has unveiled designs for Vanke’s first ever overseas pavilion for the 2015 Milan Expo. Clad in a self-cleaning, air purifying, metalized tile, which was designed by Libeskind in collaboration with the Italian company Casalgrande Padan, the “red serpentine-like” structure reinterprets the traditional Chinese Shitang (dining hall).