Rejecting the notion of a cultural pavilion as an object in a plaza, the China Pavilion at Milan Expo 2015 is conceived as a field of spaces located beneath a floating cloud. The Pavilion embodies the project’s theme, “The Land of Hope,” through its unique roof form, which merges the profile of a city skyline on the building’s north side with the profile of a rolling landscape on the south side, expressing that “hope” can be realised when city and nature exist in harmony. Beneath this roof, a landscaped field representing the concept of “Land,” incorporates the building’s exhibition programme.
Designed as a freeform timber structure, the Pavilion roof uses contemporary glulam technology to create a long-span exhibition space covering a multimedia installation (the centerpiece of the Pavilion’s cultural program) consisting of 22,000 LED stalks integrated into the landscape.
New York-based Studio Link-Arc designed the building as a covered public space – the Pavilion touches the ground very lightly. This will make it very easy to remove the Pavilion after the Expo has ended.
The architects designed the Pavilion structure and roof assembly as light as possible. A layer of shingled bamboo panels covers the roof, adding texture and depth to the Pavilion’s silhouette and creating evocative light and shadow effects on the building’s translucent waterproofing PVC membrane. These roof panels were designed via a uniquely digital process, which began by programming their geometry directly using Processing. This was followed by an intense optimisation and rationalisation effort intended to ensure that the panels would closely follow the roof form while streamlining fabrication and construction.
Project: Chinese Pavilion
Architect: Studio Link-Arc, New York, USA
Location: Expo 2015, Milan, Italy www.expo215.org
Technical info: PVC roof membrane
Picture credits: Sergio Grazia, Domus Archive
Website: www. link-arc.com