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Expo Milano 2015 – The Belgian pavilion

MVI_1042.MOV.Still006An innovative urban concept promoting biodiversity, in the heart of the city. A dynamic, fun, interactive space; an innovative window on Belgian technology.

The Belgian pavilion is inspired by and expresses the theme of the Expo Milano: “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.” As you will see, the architecture, set design, and exterior and interior fittings all follow the same main theme, responding to the challenge of food.

The Belgian pavilion explores the Expo 2015 theme, “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”, offering alternative solutions to the challenge of food. The aim is to allow everyone, at their own pace, to discover the challenges to be addressed and the scientific solutions that have been developed. Once you have been through the spaces dedicated to these issues, you can then sit down to eat! At your leisure, you can taste high-quality Belgian products in a unique setting, constructed and designed to ensure you have an unforgettable experience.

A unique Belgian showcase

The architecture of the pavilion revolves around different themes: the Expo Milano theme, “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”, eco-sustainable construction, technological innovation, and of course Belgian identity.

The Belgian pavilion was designed by Patrick Genard & Asociados, in collaboration with the architect MarcMVI_1042.MOV.Still007 Belderbos and the construction contractors Besix – Vanhout.

The building is a small-scale model of an excellent urban planning solution. The space explores the changes in land development, the growth in demographics and the depletion in natural resources.

Did you notice the reference to agricultural architecture and Belgian horticulture at the entrance to the pavilion? The allusion to traditional farms in the shape of the first building? Does the geodesic skylight remind you of the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken? The layout of the Belgian pavilion has certainly not been left to chance. Its place in the Expo Milano was designed to represent a link between two neighbouring agricultural traditions – Belgian and Milanese. Finally, the technology used in the pavilion is designed to minimise the environmental impact of the building.

MVI_1042.MOV.Still008The materials used to build the pavilion were chosen with care, to ensure they did not leave any imprint on the site: they are natural, easily recyclable, insulating and modular, so they can be easily dismantled. You will also notice the high-quality technical glass that makes up the geodesic dome skylight. Part of the pavilion, in particular the foundations and the ground floor, is made from site materials that can be rented.

The willingness to integrate the concept of durability in all the architectural choices has made the pavilion a coherent, eco-sustainable building. Its eco-sustainable features focus on three important aspects of the building’s function; firstly, its limited energy use, secondly its water management, and finally the use of natural, recyclable materials.

1 pavilion, 3 spaces

The pavilion is a living, innovative laboratory. During your visit, you will pass through three different spaces: the farm, the cellar and the atrium.

The visit starts with the farm, the entrance to the pavilion. Here, you will find an area dedicated to federal Belgium, MVI_1042.MOV.Still005its regions, communities and special features. The design is evocative of Belgium, in particular its famous beers, displayed on a wall of stylised bottles. This part of the pavilion also highlights famous Belgians of Italian origin. You can also watch live demonstrations by master chocolatiers.

The cellar is the real heart of the laboratory, displaying some of the most remarkable technological advances. At this stage of the visit, you will discover the solutions currently being investigated to deal with the challenge of food. Research, experiments and alternative food production are all under examination in the basement of the pavilion. We invite you to guide your thoughts towards the future, and how things should be. To do this, you will be guided by various alternative solutions and immersed in surroundings that are conducive to reflection. An interplay of light and shadow will accompany you until you resurface in the atrium.

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