I’d been looking forward to visiting Expo Milan 2015 ever since the father-in-law started sending me images via Whatsapp. I was anticipating conceptual design and architecture but didn’t expect to be blown away by this years theme, Feeding The Planet. At first, I was attracted to a country’s pavilion by what I saw, as I opposed to what I read. This however changed after a visit to Bahrain’s Pavilion. It was here I really started to become curious with the concept of the event. Had I not under-estimated the task before me I might of had the time to visit more of the participant’s pavilions. I shot less images than I imagined I would but, I only had one day and I absorbed way more than I could ever document. If you can find a spare weekend before 31st October, 2015, believe me, it’s well worth a visit.
Bahrain – Archaeologies of Green
The Kingdom of Bahrain’s pavilion presents an interpretation of the relationships that tie together the country’s agrarian heritage and culture. The centrepiece of the pavilion pays homage to this rich heritage, which consists of 10 distinct fruit gardens, each bearing their fruit at different times during the six-month long Expo. Did you know that there is a legend that says Bahrain is the location of The Garden of Eden and the Land of One Million Palms?
The pavilion was designed by the architect Anne Holtrop and landscape architect Anouk Vogel, and is conceived as a continuous landscape of Bahraini fruit gardens which intersect in a series of closed exhibition spaces.
Brasil – Feeding the World with Solutions
Brazils’s participation at the Expo is based on 3 key points: technological, underscoring it’s developments and reliability as a potential technology partner that is both innovative and efficient; cultural, highlighting it’s plurality through a range of typical products, and social, guaranteeing global, healthy food that is accessible to all.
The design of the Pavilion uses the metaphor of the network, in terms of flexibility, fluidity and decentralisation, showing the relationships and integration of different topics that combined, make it the global leader in food production.
Republic of Korea – You are what you eat
How will we eat? What will we eat? How long can it be sustained? The food we eat everyday sustains our bodies, propels our lives and forms the cultures we belong to. The Republic of Korea’s Pavilion showcases the diverse culinary practice that are rooted in a country’s cultural traditions. It also explores ways to further enhance their relevance in both the present and the future of human society, utilising highly advanced science and technology in the fields of food, environment and human physiology.
The architecture of their pavilion was inspired by the design of the moon jar, traditional Korean ceramic porcelain. The curvature and subtle accents lend to the overall feeling of simplicity and harmonious balance with the surrounding environment.
Spain – Cultivating the Future
In Spain’s Pavilion you will see that the success of the Spanish food chain can be attributed to a combination of tradition and innovation, an improvement of the distribution process, and the presence of a wide variety of landscapes, climates and ecosystems. The heterogeneity of the territory is the cornerstone of Spain’s culinary wealth.
Spain’s Pavilion pavilion was designed by the firm B720 Arquitectos, headed by Fermín Vázquez. The idea of coexistence between tradition and innovation is embodied by two large blocks set side by side in parallel, one composed of wooden structures and the other steel, each containing produce, exhibition spaces and themed communication materials.
Because of its transient nature, everything is inspired by the concept of temporary architecture that enhances the appeal of impermanence, using sustainable materials and prefabricated modules which can be removed at the end of the event.
United Kingdom – Grown in England & Northern Ireland
The UK’s agenda at this years Expo is to raise global awareness of and provide innovative solutions to one of the most pressing challenges of our time – how to feed and sustain an expected rise in the world’s population to nine billion by 2050. Grown in Britain and Northern Ireland celebrates UK innovation and leadership in the areas of food and drink, agricultural technology, life sciences, creative industries, healthcare, technology, sustainability and international development.
It also forms a global campaign and offers a rich international programme of cultural, science and business events to engage with leaders, thinkers and policymakers across the globe around issues of nutrition, food security and international development.
The UK has created a stand-out Pavilion designed by award-winning British artist Wolfgang Buttress showcasing the best of British business, science and culture globally.
The UK Pavilion follows the journey of the honey bee to highlight the role of pollination in the global food chain and ecosystem. This complex environment encapsulates some of the qualities the UK brings to the global food challenge. It offers a metaphor for describing how the exchange of ideas, skills and knowledge is an essential part of human activity and the UK, as a gateway to global connections, is the ideal place for such cross-pollination to happen. The UK accounts for less than one percent of the global population, but its innovators and entrepreneurs have helped shape the modern world.
Visitors are surrounded by sounds and lights flickering in response to movements within a real bee hive based in the UK. This ground-breaking UK technology, developed by Dr Martin Bencisik at Nottingham Trent University, monitors the health of bee hives and helps to solve the challenge of sustaining bee populations – vital to pollination and feeding the planet.
Of the 100 crop species that provide 90 percent of the world’s food, over 70 are pollinated by bees alone. Woven into the UK Pavilion’s very structure is a demonstration of how UK science, innovation and creativity combine to directly address the theme of Expo Milano 2015 – ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’.
Information collated from the official Expo website http://www.expo2015.org/en/participants/countries
All images ©2015 R.Cleveland Aaron