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CRA's Italian Pavilion for Expo 2020 explores recycling, circularity, reconfigurable architecture

Italy Architecture News - Oct 21, 2019 - 17:04   1378 views

CRA's Italian Pavilion for Expo 2020 explores recycling, circularity, reconfigurable architecture

International design and innovation office CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati has unveiled its final design for the Italian Pavilion for Dubai Expo 2020 which will be opened to the public on October 20th, 2020 and will remain open until April 10th, 2021. 

Carlo Ratti Associati, in collaboration with Italo Rota Building Office, F&M Ingegneria and Matteo Gatto & Associati, won an international competition to design the Italian Pavilion at Expo Dubai 2020 earlier this year. 

CRA, in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the U.A.E, has now released a final design of the pavilion which is made out of three boats, and will embark on a figurative journey to Dubai and will be converted into the roofscape of the structure before moving on after Expo 2020. 

CRA's Italian Pavilion for Expo 2020 explores recycling, circularity, reconfigurable architecture

The Italian Pavilion has been designed as an exploration into recycling, circularity and digitally reconfigurable architecture. The radical design is based on "a circular approach" to architecture. 

Three boats will arrive in Dubai and will be converted into the pavilion’s roofscape. In a similar way, the project integrates sustainable materials – such as orange peels, coffee grounds, mycelium and recycled plastic extracted from the ocean – as construction elements.

The pavilion is exposed to the atmosphere, using natural climate control strategies instead of air conditioning. Space is delimited by an adaptable façade made of LED curtains and nautical ropes, which will create a digital layer able to broadcast multimedia content.

CRA's Italian Pavilion for Expo 2020 explores recycling, circularity, reconfigurable architecture

"We liked the idea of a pavilion that would continuously mutate into different forms," said Carlo Ratti, founding partner of CRA practice and director of the MIT Senseable City Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). 

"We pursued a kind of architecture that could be reconfigured both in the long term – because of its circularity – and in the short term – thanks to digital technologies."

CRA's Italian Pavilion for Expo 2020 explores recycling, circularity, reconfigurable architecture

"The pavilion is circular in nature. Nothing goes to waste; instead, we reclaim it and reimagine its purpose," said architect Italo Rota, founding partner of Italo Rota Building Office. 

"The sea will figuratively enter the structure through one of its living organisms, seaweeds, which will be used to produce energy and food."

CRA's Italian Pavilion for Expo 2020 explores recycling, circularity, reconfigurable architecture

The pavilion’s roof is a sinuous surface that recalls sea and desert waves. The base of the pavilion is carved out of a giant sand dune, accessible to people. 

The project makes a conscious effort to integrate materials that hint at Dubai’s local geography, as well as organic waste to experiment with more sustainable building practices and engage with the circular economy. 

For instance, the exhibition will stretch over a dune made with real sand, while the skywalk will be clad in innovative materials obtained from discarded orange peels and used coffee grounds. 

CRA's Italian Pavilion for Expo 2020 explores recycling, circularity, reconfigurable architecture

The project explores the importance of history, tradition and memory in sparking innovation, while paying tribute to the seafaring populations that have inhabited the Mediterranean basin through history, shaping a common cultural heritage. 

CRA's Italian Pavilion for Expo 2020 explores recycling, circularity, reconfigurable architecture

"Italy brings an Innovation Hub to Expo 2020," said Paolo Glisenti, General Commissioner for Italy at Expo Dubai 2020. "A pavilion with an innovative structure, inspired by the most advanced elements of sustainability and circular economy, which will not simply be an exhibition venue, but a demonstration of Italian competence and the best national talent."

The pavilion continues CRA’s ongoing experimentation with innovative exhibition structures at World Fairs. Previous projects include the Digital Water Pavilion, a water-based structure at Expo Zaragoza 2008 that employed sensors to interpret and react to people’s movements–and was named by Time magazine one of the "Best Inventions of the Year"– and the Future Food District, an interactive retail space developed for Expo Milan 2015. 

CRA's Italian Pavilion for Expo 2020 explores recycling, circularity, reconfigurable architecture

Project facts

CRA Team: Carlo Ratti, Saverio Panata (Project Manager), Francesco Strocchio (Project Leader), Monika Löve (Project Leader), Alberto Benetti, Luca Bussolino, Mario Daudo, Luca Giacolini, Serena Giardina, Alberto Geuna, Gerolamo Gnecchi, Andrea Fasolo, Francesca Marino, Lucia Miglietta, Nicola Scaramuzza, Ina Sefgjini, Alessandro Tassinari, Giovanni Trogu, Davide Ventura

Renderings by CRA graphic team: Gary di Silvio, Pasquale Milieri, Gianluca Zimbardi

Italo Rota Building Office team: Italo Rota, Francesca Grassi, Francesco Lato, Omid Mohammadi, Gilberto Piano, Sammy Zarka

matteogatto&associati team: Matteo Gatto, Edoardo Perani, Paolo del Toro

F&M Ingegneria team: Sandro Favero, Federico Zaggia, Luigi Ranzato, Mirco Zuin, Mauro Baessato, Dino Casagrande, Davide Pizzolato, Marco Furlanetto, Antonio Nuzzo, Nicola Ros, Francesca Favero, Rade Batinica, Marco Bonaldo, Hazem Abdul Karim, Abid Pasha, Nicola Ferrari, Roberto Maffei

Creative Director: Davide Rampello, Studio Rampello and Partners

Set Design Consultant: Alessandro Camera

Lighting Design Consultant: Lorenzo Bruscaglioni, Luminae Lighting Design

Sound Design Consultant: Alessandro Pasini, P2A Design

Landscape Consultant: Flavio Pollano

Wayfinding Consultant: Luigi Farrauto, 100km studio

Graphic Consultants: studio FM milano

All images courtesy of CRA

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