Italy Pavilion Milan Expo 2015 designed by Nemesi&Partners

01 April 2014

Italy Pavilion Milan Expo 2015 designed by Nemesi&Partners.

The design chosen for the Italy Pavilion was the winning project in an international competition adjudicated by Expo 2015 S.p.A. in April 2013. In total, 68 architectural practices took part, but the winning design came from Nemesi & Partners in association with Proger and BMS Progetti (for the structural engineering and installations) and Prof. Livio De Santoli (for building sustainability). The Italy Pavilion consists of the creation of Palazzo Italia (c. 13,000m2 with 6 aboveground storeys) and some temporary buildings along the Cardo (c. 10,700m2 with 3 aboveground storeys). Palazzo Italia is a genuine landmark on the Expo site, standing out because of its architecture and its location on one of the four cardinal points - the northern one. Palazzo Italia draws on the concept of an "urban forest", with the "branched" outer envelope designed by Nemesi to simultaneously conjure up primitive and technological images. Nemesi used a unique geometric design to create this outer "skin", recalling an unplanned weave of branches. The route starts from the internal piazza, a great hall in which visitors are welcomed and the curved, inclined elevations give the volumes a sense of fluidity and dynamism, forming a space of genuine beauty. The triple-height space from the second to the fourth storey is like a giant "hanging" shell that, visible from the piazza, houses the Exhibition zone. Palazzo Italia has spaces to host events on the ground floor and, on the upper floors, exhibition areas, meeting and conference rooms, and elegant open and eating areas, including a top class restaurant on the fourth floor and a panoramic terrace. In designing Palazzo Italia, importance was placed on sustainability and on making it practically a zero energy building through the use, among other aspects, of photovoltaic glass for the roof and photocatalytic concrete in the outer envelope. The roof designed by Nemesi for Palazzo Italia will be an innovative "sail". It will be an interpretation of a forest canopy, with photovoltaic glass and flat and curved geometric shapes (often squares). Together with the building's envelope of "branches", it will be a manifest expression of innovation in design and technology. The roof reaches its architectural height above the inner piazza, where a massive glazed conical skylight "hangs" over the square and the central steps, radiating natural light. Nemesi used the idea of an Italian village to develop the buildings along the Cardo, creating volumes juxtaposed with small squares, terraces and covered walkways. The buildings along the Cardo include the European Union Pavilion, exhibition areas, spaces for events and meetings, eating areas and terraces.