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Italy - Expo Milano 2015

Italy at the Exhibition Expo Milano 2015
© Fabio Maglio
Architect(s) : Nemesi & Part­ners, Proger SpA, Bms Prog­etti Srl

The Italian pavilion is a 13,200m2 building on 6 floors, 60m wide, 60m long and 35m high, with a total project cost estimated at 40 million euros.

The Italian pavilion is the true symbol of the Expo, and is distinguished by its architecture and its location on one of the four cardinal points - the north.

The pavilion takes its concept from an 'urban forest', with the 'branching' outer shell designed by Nemesi.

The symbolic heart of the complex - is the starting point for the exhibition route, in the middle of the four volumes that make up the Italian pavilion.
These four constructions could be part of an urban landscape, but in reality they house the exhibition area (from the West), the Auditorium and Events area (from the South), the office area (from the North) and the Conference and Meeting area (from the East).
The volumes are symbols of giant trees, with massive bases that simulate large roots that plunge into the earth, and which rise to the top of the building forming a canopy through a giant glass roof.

The rich fabric of branches that forms the outer shell helps to highlight the sculpted forms of the Italian pavilion.
Nemesi used a unique geometric design to create an outer "skin", reminiscent of branching and creating an architecture within an architecture.

The tour of the pavilion exhibition is a progressive journey to discover and understand the forms and content of this particular architectural landscape.
The itinerary starts from the internal piazza, a large room where visitors are welcomed, and then the grand staircase that rises from the piazza and crosses this area longitudinally to visually link all the floors.
The triple-height space from the second to the fourth floor is like a giant "suspended" shell, visible from the square, which houses the exhibition area.
The Italian Pavilion has event spaces on the ground floor and, on the upper floors, exhibition spaces, meeting and conference rooms, and open spaces as well as a gourmet restaurant on the fourth floor and a panoramic terrace.
The building also has space for various institutions, including the Italian government and the regions to showcase Made in Italy excellence.

In the design of the Pavilion of Italy, emphasis has been placed on sustainability and on making it virtually a zero energy building through the use of, among other things, photovoltaic glass for the roof and photocatalytic concrete for the exterior envelope.
The 9,000m2 exterior façade is constructed of 900 panels of " BIODYNAMIC" concrete, a patent of Italcementi "TX Active technology".
When this material comes into contact with light, it can "capture" air pollution, transforming it into inert salts and reducing pollution levels.
The mortar used is made up of 80% recycled aggregate, including Carrara marble quarry waste which helps to add more luster than in traditional white cement.
This new material is also very 'dynamic', allowing the creation of fluid patterns such as the complex shapes used for the pavilion's decorative panels.
Each panel of the outer shell is unique and has been created using Styl-Comp technology.
The roof is an innovative "veil" created by Stahlbau Pichler. It is an interpretation of a forest canopy, with photovoltaic glass and flat and curved (often square) geometric shapes.
With the "branch-like" envelope, it is a clear expression of innovation in design and technology.
The roof reaches its architectural peak above the inner square, where a skylight illuminates the central square, which radiates with natural light.