The Expo Venice Pavilion was inaugurated, as part of the Expo 2015 'fringe' events, in an exhibition dedicated to water (Aquae Venezia, until 31 October 2015), offering interesting insights into the relations between water, the earth and humankind. The exhibition explores both themes and problems, providing visual depictions of research and experience in a range of areas, including science, the economy, food, nutrition, health and more. The interactive route takes the visitor into a world of detailed information and knowledge, nudging them to discover more without forgoing a sense of entertainment.
When the Expo 2015 fringe events end, this multi-purpose pavilion will be run by Expo Venice and used for exhibitions, cultural events, sports and trade fairs. Access to the pavilion is easy as it lies on the mainland near Ponte della Libertà, with good rail and road links as well as lagoon access, via the canals. The project forms part of a regeneration plan in the old Marghera - Venezia industrial area that will ultimately produce a science and technology park.
The volume of this pavilion is elegant, accompanied by pure geometrical lines. It is this simplicity that makes it stand out in this landscape. The volume has two main sections. The lower section, clad in wood, has a parking lot with 400 spaces.
Above this rises the true exhibition area, clad with white coated aluminium panels. This visual differentiation between the upper and lower sections is emphasised by the panels not being smooth, with vertical ribs brining dynamism through the interplay of minor solids and voids in a fragmented, segmented façade. Both natural and artificial light - near and distant - interact with the building, creating interesting variations. There are two main pedestrian entrances on opposing sides, one greeting those who come from the lagoon and the other, those coming from the mainland.
From the canal, a curved walkway cuts through the lawn to meet up with a ramp leading up to the building. From the mainland side, the entrance adds to the overall architectural picture as a covered portico of steel uprights stretches quite evidently away from the building covering the central stairs, with a wooden bannister, and two escalators, as well the lifts, all clad in a type of wood that recalls the base. The landing at the top of the stairs, the arrival point for the escalators and lifts as well, doubles as the entrance to the exhibition space.
The interior is one, massive hall that was designed to be flexible. The dominant element is the grid-like ceiling supported by four huge metal pillars located in the centre and by other pillars along the edges. This leaves the floor unencumbered and ready for whatever use it might be put to.
Client: Finanziaria Internazionale Investments SGR - Fondo Venice Waterfront
Gross Floor Area: 22.500 m2
Architects: aMDL Arch. Michele De Lucchi - Michele De Lucchi
Design Team: Michele de Lucchi, Giovanni Caprioglio, Paolo Lucchetta, Andreas Kipar
Works Management: Caprioglio Associati Studio di Architettura - Giovanni Caprioglio
Contractor: Società Italiana per Condotte d’Acqua
Structural and Technical Systems: F&M Ingegneria - Sandro Favero
Urban Design: ATP
Urban Storage Architectural Design: ATP – Giovanni Caprioglio
Landscape design: Land con ATP
Pop-up Mall retail outlet design: RetailDesign con ATP
Wood Flooring and Covering: Braga, Arte+Partners
Cladding and Roofing: Hedar Edilizia Metallica
Interiors Acoustical Insulating: Fantoni
Photography: © Alessandra Chemollo
Michele de Lucchi
Born in 1951 in Ferrara, de Lucchi graduated in architecture in Florence. During the years of radical and experimental architecture, he was a prominent figure in various movements, including the Cavart, Alchymia, and Memphis Groups.
De Lucchi has designed lamps and décor items for such major Italian and European companies as Artemide, Olivetti, Alias, Unifor, Hermès, and Alessi. He has also designed workplaces and corporate identity for Deutsche Bank, the Italian Post Office, the Italian Railways, Enel, Piaggio, Olivetti, Telecom Italia, Novartis, Intesa Sanpaolo, and Unicredit. His architectural designs span residential, industrial, office, and arts projects in Italy and throughout the world. De Lucchi has also signed his name to exhibition designs for museums such as La Triennale di Milano, Rome’s Palazzo delle Esposizioni, the Neues Museum in Berlin, the Galleria d’Italia Piazza Scala, the Sforza Castle, and Milan’s Museo della Pietà Rondanini. Recently he has worked on numerous projects in the city of Milan, including pavilions for Expo 2015 (the Zero pavilion, Expo Center, and Intesa Sanpaolo pavilion) and the Unicredit pavilion in Piazza Gae Aulenti.
Since 2004, de Lucchi he has been involved in chainsaw sculptures of houses, working to identify the essence of architectural form. In 2003, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris acquired a considerable number of his works. A selection is also on display at some of the most important museums in Europe, the US, and Japan.
In 2000, he was made an Officer of the Italian Republic by President Ciampi for his services to design and architecture. In 2001, he was appointed distinguished professor at the Faculty of Arts and Design at Venice’s Istituto Universitario di Architettura and a member of the Accademia Nazionale di San Luca in Rome.