Expo 2015 – Azerbaijan/text


Location: Milano
Competition: 2014
Client: Expo Milano

Expo 2015 – Azerbaijan

From May 1st until October 31st 2015 the Expo took place in Milan, Italy, according to the motto “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”. The topics considered tackling the global challenges of the future. Among the 130 exhibitors from all over the world Azerbaijan was also part of the Expo and tendered the design of its pavilion in advance. The great challenge of the design was to fit a volume onto 887 square meters keeping 2 meters distance from the boundaries. Also, the pavilion was not allowed to exceed 12 meters of height and was asked to consist of more than one building. It was also important to the client to receive an open and green design in order to be attractive to visitors.

Incorporating these requirements we designed a unique pavilion that unites the cultural, ecological and economic features of the country in one exhibition. The motto “Fruit of Life. Seed of Diversity” concerns the national fruit – the pomegranate. In Azerbaijan it stands for life and prosperity, its seeds symbolize the national and cultural variety.

Taking a bearing on the pattern of the pomegranate, the design of the pavilion is a repetitive marking covering the structure. Concerning the surrounding stands that also have the topic “food” the design integrates the pavilion into its environment.

The façade consists of a mosaic of round shapes depicting the seeds of the national fruit. Here and there, transparent shapes let the passers-by have a quick glance inside and give an impression of the interior. Some of the screens display videos; others show projections thus creating a dynamic and vivid effect. The overall impression of the organic, semi-transparent structure is openness and a welcoming gesture.

A stage at the main façade offers different possibilities for events and presentations – at the same time attracting spectators and keeping the visitors amused while waiting in line to enter the pavilion.

Inside, a ramp leads through the exhibition and winds up to the roof in a slight incline. While traveling through the building, the visitors experience the diversity of the country and are lead through the different levels by various topics. Starting with geography, history and culture, the exhibition tells of energy, biodiversity and the underwater world as well as culinary features. The bazaar and the restaurant are located on the rooftop; the country can be experienced with all senses here.