The World Expo 2015 in Milan has “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life” as its main theme. The competition for the Brazilian Pavilion asks for a building and an exhibition that will showcase the concept “Feeding the World with Solutions”.
The odd shape of the lot with a vey narrow and long access corridor called for a shape that would invite people towards the back end where the terrain widens. The idea is to develop the exhibition all along the Pavilion, from the very beginning of the lot towards its end, in a continuous embracing space.
The shape of the Pavilion intentionally break with the “shoe-box” shape, a legacy of all modern and contemporary brazilian architecture, trying to bring innovation within the architecture vernacular.
Inspired by organic shapes of food and fruits, the Pavilion unfolds as a citrus peel, widening and growing in size as it stretches (a sphere peel that stretches to become a spiral).
The chosen material for the structure is wood: a very sustainable material which embodies a significant share of the brazilian history, economy and identity. Trees have an outstanding role in food production in Brazil and they needed to be represented in the Pavilion, not just for their fruits, but as a key material for construction as well. Oddly, there is a lack of timber construction and architecture in Brazil: it is considered an old vernacular, which has been abandoned to make room for concrete.
The intention is to show that wood is in fact a valid option as a structural sustainable material for the future as other countries have already understood.
The “peel” is covered with soil and grass so that the roof actually becomes a living part of the exhibition.
Three adjacent cylinders house service spaces that needed more privacy such as offices, meeting rooms and bathrooms. They are shaped as metallic grain silos to represent the contemporary way of forage harvesting in agriculture. One of the silos functions as an accessible watch tower to observe the whole Expo area.
The exhibition focuses on brazilian main food exports such as soya beans, coffee beans, sugar cane, rice, fruits, cereals and all their derivatives. It focuses on brazilian innovation in science, technology and policies which allowed to significantly reduce hunger within the country over the past forty years: one of the most successful hunger fighting story in the world.
Developed in collaboration with VRP, Porto Alegre, Brazil.
Competition booklet (in portuguese).