Expo Milano 2015

One of the objectives of The Romanian Pavilion at the “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life” World Expo 2015 in Milan, Italy is to provide a solution to the question of the coexistence between modern technology and urban lifestyle connected with the surrounding nature. The harmony between nature and noninvasive-technology could place Romania in a significant position in the European Agricultural context, with bio valences that are increasingly appreciated and sought these days at the expense of an intensive volume based one. We believe that this is a path worth following for the future of Romanian Agriculture. Through our pavilion, we tried to accurately represent Romania’s position, which led to an image based on moderation, modesty and balance, perennial factors in traditional architecture. The first element presented to the public, when entering the pavilion, is the water, that floods into an ecological pond symbolizing the Danube delta, a unique natural element in Europe and with an important role in defining the Romanian geographic scenery. This water feature has also the purpose to create an expansion between the public space of the exhibition and the entrance in the Romanian pavilion, preparing the visitor to embrace another atmosphere, as stepping into a different world. The water is also a symbol, a purifying matter that acts as a propensity towards a better world that Romania aspires to. The main access is made from the Decumanus Boulevard, on a water resistant teak wooden bridge that serves as a waiting area as well. In the access area, the ground floor continues with several vertical bars that border the entrance bridge. Their setup, material and form suggest a pan-pipe, musical instrument deeply connected to the Romanian culture. Once the visitors enters the ground floor, designed as a neutral volume in which the light is filtered by some tall and thin laminated wooden panelss, that serve as structural elements as well, the guests will encounter a space similar to a black box (even though it is white) sheltering versatile thechnologies such as LED displays that cover the interior walls and where the visitors can learn facts about Romania’s scenery, customs and traditions. The multi-purpose room is also flanked by LED displays, which can work together to enhance the events currently taking place inside. The room can act both as a conference and events location (closed) or as a complementary space to the permanent exhibiton. The adjacent spaces can be individually distinguished by their purpose: biodiversity with its commercial area, green energy, fruits and vegetables, culture and tradition or gastronomic art. The visitation path is coordinated with the images on the LED panels. After the visitor had walked through the ground floor areas, getting acquainted with the essential aspects that establish our country’s profile, he can access the upper floor using the elevator or the exterior staircases. On the upper floor the visitor will find the restaurant designed to remind him of a traditional Romanian house reinterpreted in a contemporary manner but still preserving everlasting elements from the vernacular architecture: the thatched roof, the wooden beam joints of the walls and, maybe most important, the porch suggested by the roof that generously covers the border areas of the construction. The interior design is inspired also by the traditional houses, therefore the tables and the chairs are slightly undersized. It is very important to mention that the restaurant is set in the middle of a vegetable orchard where local varieties will be grown, their quality being more and more appreciated on the European market. The structure of the house is made out of wooden bars and glass strips placed among them, offering a better view to of the garden, harmonizing the relationship between interior and exterior. The garden is bordered by a 50 cm thick wheat belt that will be cultivated alternatively, by different ages of growth so that the wheat never passes the phase of maturity during the exhibition. The wheat is a symbol for food and agriculture. The proposed layout allows for separate access to the first floor, making the restaurant independent of the pavilion below. We believe that our country can develop in harmony and even intimacy with traditional values and customs.  
project details
project title: Romania pavilion at Expo Milano 2015
location: Milano
project type: Winning project "Competiţie de idei"
authors: arch. Radu Teacă, arch. Radu-Petre Năstase
collaborators: arch. Eneth-Ágota Koszti, arch. Alex Pintea
structure: eng. Cristian Năstase - Concept Structure
year of design: 2014
year of completion: 2015
built area: approximately 408mp
gross building area: approximately 594mp
photos: arch. Costin Irimia