Eight teams have reached the final stages of a design competition for the UK Pavilion at the Milan Expo 2015. The six month event will address the theme Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life, and entrants into the design competition were challenged to channel the additional UK theme, Grown in Britain: Shared Globally.
Whilst UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) has released concept designs and short explanatory texts for each shortlisted proposal, the concepts have been left anonymous in line with EU procurement regulations. On 1 May, the eight teams will present their submissions to the competition jury with a final winner expected by the end of May.
In alphabetical order, the shortlisted teams are: AL_A; Allford Hall Monaghan Morris and Studio Myerscough; Asif Khan; Barber & Osgerby; David Kohn Architects; Grant Associates; Paul Cocksedge Studio; and Wolfgang Buttress Studio.
Short excerpts from the project submissions read as follows:
At the Milan Expo 2015 the UK will reveal a structure housing every single person on earth. This will form a uniquely British perspective on the Expo theme. When we talk about 'Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life', we’re talking about people. More people = More food. That’s the challenge. From the Terracotta army to Ai Wei Wei’s Sunflower Seeds, our ability to emotionally connect with population through representation is profound.
Our Pavilion is the UK Food Machine and celebrates our island setting within two distinctive, linked environments, Sea and Land. Our design takes the form of a 3 Dimensional infinity loop representing the future imperative for a joined up food chain. Within this dynamic environment, the Pavilion communicates the connectedness of the UK food industry to weather, water and soil cycles through to specific future production technologies, processes and produce.
Our design for the UK Pavilion dissolves the border between exterior and interior, creating an overall sense of organic fluidity rather than solid presence. 1,296 re-usable telegraph poles create a ready-made timber forest: a calm and quiet space inviting exploration, and a mystery that takes visitors on a journey to a concealed exhibition area within.
Reflecting the theme 'Grown in Britain, Shared Globally', the Pavilion celebrates how British agriculture, technology and food have positively impacted the world: providing solutions to global problems, sustainably providing more with less, all from field to fork. The Pavilion will be a working model of this way of thinking: an ecological, self-sustaining system in itself. Live, real world experiments allow visitors of all ages to engage, contribute, and join the debate, creating entertaining experiences through technology and materials that bring the British success stories to life.
Our concept, 'BE', highlights the plight of the honeybee and ways in which new research and technology are helping to address challenges, including food security and biodiversity. Visitors meander through an orchard, discover a wildflower meadow and enter a ‘virtual hive’, which pulsates, buzzes and glows according to signals from a real hive. Our proposal explores the life of the bee colony through an immersive sensory experience - a beautiful and profound encounter - leaving visitors with a lasting flavour of the British landscape.
#silentcurrency uses water as a metaphor to address the questions posed by the Expo. 80% of the water we use is hidden in our food, a shocking statistic made visible by our design. Inside a mysterious, roofless, black container, visitors walk along paths cut through a vast volume of water representing their water footprint - an immersive and memorable experience designed to inspire to change.
‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ tells the remarkable story of how British scientific and technological innovations are benefiting global food production and consumption. A monumentally light pavilion comprising a state-of-the-art glasshouse held above a picturesque garden provides the context for a journey through the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the future of strawberry cultivation.
THINKERS+GROWERS+MAKERS=SHARERS will provide every visitor with inspiration about how they can help to meet the global food challenge. We have created an immersive, memorable and friendly visitor journey based around the four themes of THINKERS + GROWERS + MAKERS = SHARERS celebrating the people and ideas that are leading scientific research, agriculture, food production and food consumption. The pavilion is designed to be a melting pot of ideas - from the local to the global.