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Padiglione Italia - Expo 2015

Nemesi Architects

Padiglione Italia - Expo 2015
By Francesco Pagliari -

Expo 2015 is laid out orthogonally in ancient Roman style with a north-south axis, the Cardo, and a Decumanus running east-west. They are lined by the national pavilions, among which the Italy Pavilion is a major landmark. Located at the northernmost tip of the Cardo, Palazzo Italia blends symbolic, experimental, technical and formal elements. The programme has several interrelated objectives: to be an example of dense urban architecture representing not only a whole exhibition area but also the multifaceted identity of Expo 2015’s host country. The result is an intricately meshed contemporary construction embracing a broad cultural vision at whose centre is the urban space.

The project is an amalgam of urban concepts and architectural elements. There are open spaces, clusters of environments that flow one into the other over an interconnected series of floors and structures. A testimonial to a weighty past, it is also a place of experimentation in the way the parts dialogue with the whole. An intense urban space, it stands side-by-side with an equally intensely constructed landscape, underling Italy’s deep-rooted tradition - both down the centuries but also in the contemporary setting - of development on the basis of over-arching projects. 

A series of clearly identifiable environments becomes a seamless flow through piazzas, spaces and architectural features. Naturally lit by a huge skylight, the central internal square is a place of interaction. Set in a huge void, its steel and glass cone lends it a dynamic fluidity and underlines its central role. The huge main staircase sets the tone for the whole building, its monumental character underlined by a ramp crossing the empty space like a horizontal line.

The Italy Pavilion comprises four functional blocks housing the exhibition areas, conference and events, a sector for associations and official bodies, and an administrative zone, respectively. Each volume is...

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