Daniel Libeskind’s ‘Chinese dragon’ pavilion takes centre stage at Milan Expo

by Jason Holland | 07 May 2015

New York-based architect Daniel Libeskind’s pavilion for Chinese real estate company Vanke has been unveiled at the Milan Expo 2015.

Resembling a dragon and featuring 4,000 shimmering ceramic tiles that look like scales, the pavilion seeks to explore the expo’s theme of ‘Feeding the Planet’ by reimagining a traditional Chinese shitang, or dining hall.

Libeskind designed the three-dimensional red metalised tiles with the Italian company Casalgrande Padana, and they appear to change colour from red and pink to gold and white. The geometric panels also possess self-cleaning and air purification properties.

The 1,000sq m (10,764sq ft) pavilion takes traditional Chinese landscape painting – rock formations, rice fields, and prehistoric outcrops – as inspiration. According to Studio Libeskind, it aims to tell the story of civilisation, technology and the 21st century as well as offer a space for reflection and a celebration of different cultures.

Situated on the edge of the expo’s Lake Arena, the pavilion appears to rise from the east forming a dynamic vertical landscape, with its design featuring a sinuous geometrical pattern that flows between the inside and outside. It comes complete with a roof-top observation deck.

The pavilion is among a collection of striking designs at the expo, including the beehive-themed UK pavilion from artist Wolfgang Buttress and architects BDP.

However, the opening of the Milan Expo on 1 May was marred by violence as police fired tear gas at people protesting against the six-month event. Among an array of issues, protesters were demonstrating against the expo’s reliance on volunteer workers and the involvement of big corporations, as well as a belief that much of the public money used to fund the project had been lost to corruption.

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New York-based architect Daniel Libeskind’s pavilion for Chinese real estate company Vanke has been unveiled at the Milan Expo 2015. Resembling a dragon and featuring 4,000 shimmering ceramic tiles that look like scales, the pavilion seeks to explore the expo’s theme of ‘Feeding the Planet’ by reimagining a traditional Chinese shitang, or dining hall. Libeskind designed the three-dimensional red metalised tiles with the Italian company Casalgrande Padana, and they appear
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Daniel Libeskind’s pavilion is based on the concept of traditional Chinese landscape painting / Studio Libeskind
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