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Azerbaijan - Expo Milano 2015

Azerbaijan at the Exhibition Expo Milano 2015
© Ignacio Gallego
Architect(s) : Simmetrico Network, Arassociati Architettura and AG&P

The concept of the Azerbaijan pavilion is to represent through architecture positive energy and proactivity, seeking to harmonise and protect differences.
Its iconic architectural elements, the biospheres and the corrugated walls, were designed to represent natural and cultural metaphors.
The biospheres are a metaphor for a country where different elements coexist in perfect balance, giving rise to growth and development.

The pavilion is composed of modern and simple architectural forms, built with traditional Azerbaijani materials, for example wood combined with universal materials such as glass and metal.
These design choices are related to the exceptional nature required for the theme of the event, while at the same time allowing for architectural forms that help the building to be energy efficient.
The design has been conceived so that the building meets optimal bioconstruction standards, making use of low energy consumption and fully recyclable materials.

All components have been chosen to ensure that each stage of the construction process has a fast turnaround time.
Each part of the process is also inclined to generate environmental well-being that is both tangible and functional: it is the creation of a better human habitat, in close synergy with nature and the places of origin.
In addition to spatial variety, light and transparency are the main choices on which the architecture of the pavilion is based.

The grid, the "skin" of the pavilion, built with flexible wooden panels, wraps around the sides of the building, leaving only the façade open to the north, thus provoking the passive control of the microclimate that maximises the exchange of energy between the building and the outside.
The pavilion therefore has the techniques and materials to support the choices made in terms of installations and equipment, the search for maximum flexibility of the space according to its distribution and construction form.
The different possibilities of how the pavilion can be equipped, makes it capable of being adapted and remaining functional over time.
The vertical structures, floors and roof are constructed from wood and iron, while the metal and transparent glass doors and windows are concealed by the laminated wooden shutter.
All interior floors are LEED certified ceramic tiles, while the exterior spaces are paved with natural stone.

The interior of the pavilion is divided into 5 zones and 3 Spheres.

The 4 zones are:

Mirroring Baku comes to life through two installations, one in Milan and the other in the capital of Azerbaijan, to allow Expo visitors to interact with the citizens of Baku and celebrate the meeting of two distant cities that have come together for the 2015 World Expo.

The large interactive wall represents a wooden musical staff with metal inserts to remind us of the importance of Azerbaijani music, listed by UNESCO as intangible world heritage.
The staff accompanies you throughout the pavilion, with a dozen monitors creating the Country Symphony Orchestra with animated videos and information about Azerbaijan.

The first floor is dotted with flower beds, equipped with monitors and with a sound shower by immersing you in the variety of unexpected landscapes found in the country.
The screens show the growth of the nation through its most advanced projects in technology, agriculture and art.

The flavours of Azerbaijan.
The second floor of the Pavilion describes typical foods of the nation, their variety, non-GMO productions, recipes, health properties and strategies to protect this heritage.
An experimentation area is present with interactive tables and augmented reality installations.

The 3 biospheres are

In this area, you are at the centre of a compass that represents the centrality of the country, which has always been a crossroads open to dialogue, to research towards one of the four cardinal points of the world.
This sphere is not closed like the others, but designed to encourage the flow of people into the Pavilion.

The large pomegranate tree enclosed by the sphere is a symbol of life and prosperity.
"Portraits of Azerbaijan", at the base of the tree canopy, shows the faces of men and women: the life of the country.
In the upper part of the sphere, in the canopy of the great pomegranate tree, the screens allow you to get to know and explore the symbols of the country, a virtual contact with the vital element of Azerbaijan.

The inside of the third sphere is an upside-down tree: a metaphor for the relationship between innovation and tradition in Azerbaijan.
The roots point upwards, taking inspiration from the sky to nurture the vision of the future and become the cornerstone for the fruits of innovation.