Launch of food-themed Milan Expo 2015 offers an architectural feast

by Jak Phillips | 01 May 2015

Inspirational concepts from some of the world’s leading designers have gone on show today as Milan Expo 2015 opens to the public.

Foster + Partners, Daniel Libeskind and Biber Architects are among the heavyweight architects and designers who have been enlisted to bring the Expo to life – with more than 10 million tickets already sold for the six-month event.

The global commercial fair is the second to be held in Milan and has been five years in the making. Under the theme feeding the planet, energy for life, the 2015 Expo brings together more than 145 countries to showcase 54 national pavilions that embrace technology, innovation, culture, traditions and creativity and how they relate to food and diet.

Masterplanned by a team consisting of Jacques Herzog, Mark Rylander, Ricky Burdett, Stefano Boeri, and William McDonough, each pavilion ranges from 400sq m (4,305sq ft) to 6,000sq m (64,583 sq ft), with around 50 per cent of the Expo area occupied by pavilions. 35 per cent of the area is dedicated to external space, while 15 per cent comprises a green perimeter around the expo site. In addition, the site includes a large artificial lake surrounded by 20 pavilions representing each of the Italian regions, a 12,000-seat amphitheatre and a 6,000 seat auditorium.

Each pavilion for each country has been worked on by different architectural teams. Some of the biggest and most interesting include:

• European Pavilion - BRC Imagination Arts

• UAE - Foster + Partners • China - Daniel Libeskind/Studio Link-Arc

• Italy - Nemesi & Partners • US - Biber Architects

• UK - Wolfgang Buttress • Azerbaijan - Simmetrico Network

• Slovenia - SoNo Arhitekti • Israel - Knafo Klimor-Design

• Czech Republic - Chybik + Kristof • Spain - b720

• Vietnam - Vo Trong Nghai • Austria - team.breathe.austria

• Thailand - The Office of Bangkok Architects (OBA) • Iran - Naqsh,E,Jahan-Pars (NJP)

In addition, architect Carlo Ratti has supervised Expo's Future Food District, with the aim to explain how the food chain will evolve by extensively implementing IT to food conservation, distribution, purchasing and consumption. Davide Rampello is supervising Pavilion Zero, which has been designed to introduce visitors to the site.

The Expo kicks-off today (1 May) and runs through to the end of October. The expo will also be the first place to offer a sneak peek at the upcoming World Expo Museum, which debuts in May 2016.

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Inspirational concepts from some of the world’s leading designers have gone on show today as Milan Expo 2015 opens to the public. Foster + Partners, Daniel Libeskind and Biber Architects are among the heavyweight architects and designers who have been enlisted to bring the Expo to life – with more than 10 million tickets already sold for the six-month event. The global commercial fair is the second to be held
Italy hopes the six-month fair will attract some 20 million visitors
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