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Spain - Expo Milano 2015

Spain at the Exhibition Expo Milano 2015
© Philippe Lemaire
Architect(s) : B720 Arquitectos

The Spain pavilion is located on a 2,533 m2 plot of land, and is based on three main pillars: a successful chain of food production, the quality and diversity of our food and cuisine, and sustainable agriculture and farming as a tool for preserving the landscape, heritage and developing alternative models of tourism.

Inspired by a greenhouse, Spain pavilion at Expo Milano 2015 is a double nave structure representing the fusion of the qualities exported by our country: tradition and innovation.

One of the main objectives of this project, set by the architectural firm b720, Fermín Vázquez Arquitectos, was to create a sustainable pavilion that highlights environmental efficiency.
Constructed from recycled and natural materials, the structure is composed of a series of 1.5m wooden porticos supported by a sequence of irregular prismatic volumes in cross-laminated wood.
The porticos are separated by transparent polycarbonate panels, acting as a glazed canopy.

Natural ventilation is promoted by a set of ceiling blinds that remove heat from above by convection currents, a mechanism very similar to that of a greenhouse.
The depth and distance between the porticos has been carefully calculated to provide shade for the semi-outdoor areas, thus achieving a significant reduction in energy consumption.

In fact, the majority of the pavilion is semi-outdoor, making optimum use of natural environmental conditions.
The only space that has been deliberately designed as indoor and enclosed is the main exhibition area.
The remaining spaces benefit from perfect daylight conditions thanks to the transparent and translucent closures, which maximise the use of daylight for most activities.

The entire structure of the Spain Pavilion is built using a system of large-scale solid wood panels cut to size.
The construction uses 8000 m2 of cross-laminated timber panels produced from sustainable pine and fir trees.
"Empty, the company in charge of the work, uses a dry process, which facilitates assembly and disassembly. The aim is to produce a 100% reusable building.

Antoni Miralda, one of the great figures of contemporary "food-art", the artist is in charge of bringing to life the exhibition El Viaje del Sabor (The Journey of Flavour); a poetic proposal designed to induce a reflection on food and to act as an artistic link between the Spanish pavilion and the theme of Expo Milano 2015: "Feeding the Planet. Energy for life".

Materialised as a large, 5 by 4 metre suitcase-museum at the entrance to the Spain Pavilion, this sculpture is an icon in itself, and then immediately afterwards a series of life-size suitcases guide visitors towards the pavilion, transforming the main entrance into a kind of airport where ideas and information about food are constantly moving around.
Once inside, the exhibition invites visitors to join the journey of certain products through a series of videos.
A delicate and generic journey through Spain which, according to the artist, is "a cornucopia of food history".

To enhance the evocative power of each case, artist Antoni Miralda relies on the musical support of original compositions by Pablo Salinas, which seek to immerse viewers in a journey through the diversity and musical influences of Spain.
Visitors are able to interact with the exhibition, answering questions related to food through a series of words that appear on the suitcases.

For Pablo Salinas, composer of the music for the Spain pavilion at Expo Milano 2015, "Music is mathematics and language combined".
On the one hand, he deals with dimensions and time, and on the other, he seeks to express musical thoughts through this language.
These two places have led Pablo Salinas to use a musical metalanguage through harmony.
In this respect, there are three key pillars that distinguish the musical language of Spain Pavilion: melody, rhythm and the integration of music into the structure itself.

And finally, the pavilion offers the opportunity to discover the country's culinary specialities through a tapas bar, an outdoor terrace and a gastronomic restaurant.