The Italia Pavilion is the host country’s true calling card with a showcase of excellences and peculiarities of the Italian territories. Nemesi&Partner Srl, Proger Spa and Bms Progetti Srl obtained the realization of the ambitious project that will give great emotional impact and shape to the pavilion by March 2015. The work concept is Vivaio d'Italia (Italy’s Plant Nursery), which is intended as a growth and development space. It is a concept embodied by the architectural and material choices. The substantial use of glass suggests a communication structure with the surrounding nature. The Tree of Life theme that pervades the environment is an icon of nature and of the generative force of the earth. The other themes permeating the Italia Pavilion are the reception, the encounter, the community and being together in general, which are the distinctive values of Italian identity.
The logo that will represent the most awaited Expo pavilion is a “three coloured sprout”, which incorporates the plant nursery concept, a place in which to grow the future starting from the many articulations and varieties of the Italian territory.
From a structural point of view, the Italia Pavilion is divided into two different spaces. The first is Palazzo Italia, located on the shores of Lake Arena at the extreme part of the Cardo, which was primarily thought of as a meeting space and able to accommodate various events. The other will have numerous exhibition and institutional stands along the Cardo itself representing the many local identities while emphasizing the wealth that lies in the variety.
Palazzo Italia consists of four different building blocks linked together that surround the central square. The four blocks respectively host the Exhibition area, the Events / Exhibitions area, the Offices and Institutional area. The structure is disposed on four levels going from the roots to the rooftop terrace. The symbolism of the tree and of the forest is not only visual but also and mostly structural. Amongst the various energy strategies used in the design of Palazzo Italia, the one most worthy is the use of solar energy that is captured from the outer casing of the building and from the glass roofing.
Linked to Palazzo Italia is the Cardo, a 325-meter long alley along which will be arranged smaller sized exhibition spaces grouped in four lots. The northern part will host the areas representing the Territories and the Regions of Italy while the Cardo South will be dedicated to the Made in Italy, described through the excellence of Italian companies.
Thanks to the arrangement of spaces and of volumes, the alley is designed to recall the image of the Italian village, where the buildings are partitioned with squares, terraces and porticos.
The Italia Pavilion will also be the scene of many events. During the six months of the exhibition, over 2000 events are foreseen including shows, scientific conferences, meetings by the National Research Council and of major Italian Universities and show cooking.
A total of 145 countries will participate at Expo 2015, the world fair dedicated to nutrition that will be held in Milan. It is a unique opportunity to illustrate to millions of visitors the typical crops of ones own territory, the techniques and technologies used in agricultural production and the most distinctive themes related to the development and preservation of food resources in the geographic region of origin. During the event, some of the participating nations such as Brazil, Japan and Kuwait will be protagonists with their own pavilion, while all the others will have the opportunity to develop their own concept and find space in one of the squares that will host the pavilions of the nine Thematic Clusters.
From an architectural point of view, the exhibition site will be structured like an irregular island and surrounded by a canal. Two main streets cross the site, the Decumano and the Cardo. They borrow their names from the architecture of the ancient Roman cities and intersect each other creating the big Piazza Italia (Italia Square). The pavilions of all the nations will overlook the Decumano except for the country that is hosting. Participants are free to decide whether to develop their own concepts within the topic indicated or choose one of the Clusters broken down by food chains (Rice, Cereals and Tubers, Spices, Cocoa, Coffee, Fruit and Vegetables) as well as Thematic Areas (Agriculture and Nutrition in Dry Areas, Sea and Islands, ecosystems of the Bio-Mediterranean) each of which will host several countries.
The total of more than 50 pavilions for which an area of approximately 130,000 square feet was prearranged, will have to be designed and installed in complete autonomy from the participating countries while respecting certain specific requirements. To remain consistent with the ecological and environmentalist theme of the event, the exhibition structures must save at least 30% of the space for green areas or outdoor surfaces. In addition, the preparations must be eco-friendly. Therefore, it is recommended in using recycled materials, the adoption of specific methodologies for waste disposal as well as systems that render visitor line-ups as smooth as possible. Each country must also prepare an area where it will be possible to taste the local wine and food specialties and other food preparations congruent to the themes provided for the different Expo 2015 Clusters.
Famous architects will design the spaces dedicated to the nations. They were assigned the difficult task of summarizing their project in the spirit of the event, the particular food culture traits of the participating countries and the daily challenges that they face to overcome the scarcity of resources as well as ensure nourishment and well being for the population. The pavilions will be open to the public only as of May 1st, 2015, but it is certain that all the countries will amaze: the United Arab Emirates will create a true oasis within the exhibition space, China aims to reproduce the immense spaces and crops as far as the eye can see that are typical of the Rising Sun, Germany will combine technology and green spaces in a huge garden terrace and Chile will transform the pavilion into a large woven basket.
There is a vast space for companies in the Corporate Pavilions as well. Expo gives companies that are receptive to the sustainable nutrition theme and the worldwide quality of life to exhibit their products in the dedicated pavilions, which will need to be realized by the company by giving value to one or more of the World Fair’s themes.
Finally, there will also be five thematic pavilions: the Zero Pavilion that will host, among other things, the contribution of the United Nations; the Biodiversity Park, a garden of 14,000 m²; the Future Food District; the Art & Food area and the Children Park, a space dedicated to children.