Italy Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai

Beauty Connects People Dubai / UAE / 2020

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CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati, Italo Rota, Matteo Gatto and F&M Ingegneria win the international design competition for Italy’s Pavilion at Expo Dubai 2020, themed "beauty connects people".


The Pavilion explores the ways in which “beauty connects people” – the theme of Italy’s participation in next year’s World’s Fair – paying tribute to the long history of explorers who, throughout the centuries, sailed the seas and wove together a shared Mediterranean cultural heritage. The use of upside-down hulls for the roof of the Pavilion connects to an ancient tradition of seafaring populations and fishermen all around the world, while also promoting sustainability with a circular approach.


“Reusing the ships once on land was an act that had a profound appeal to us: not only because it is laden with historical value, but because it represents the realization of a circular architecture from the project’s beginning. The ships that become part of the Pavilion can continue to be used in different ways even after the end of the Expo,” says Carlo Ratti, founding partner of CRA practice and director of the MIT Senseable City Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).


The Italian Pavilion within the site of Expo 2020 Dubai will take up a surface of around 3,500 square meters and will be over 25 meters tall. Each hull will be painted in a different way, so that seen from above, they will appear like three petals in the colors of the Italian flag. Paolo Glisenti, General Commissioner for Italy at Expo 2020 Dubai, comments: “The project of Ratti, Rota, Gatto and F&M allows us to build not only an exhibition space, but a space that represents the best of Italian ingenuity, offering a memorable experience to visitors. The Italian Pavilion will be realized with the contributions of partner companies – large, medium and small – called to provide the best structural, engineering, technological and scenographic components, that are able to demonstrate the most innovative competences committed today to sustainability, to the circular economy, to digital architecture.”

“The exhibition path will be marked by a gradual ascent until a point where it becomes possible, with some help from the imagination, to observe Italy from the sky,” explains architect Italo Rota, founding partner of Italo Rota Building Office: “There will be a ‘Prologue’ with large spaces inspired by the forms of important Italian piazze, and a Grand Finale that will be almost like a cathedral to nature, to light, to the music of the universe, like the sky over the Mediterranean and the Desert.”
The project continues CRA’s ongoing work in experimenting with innovative exhibition structures at the World Fairs. 
Previous projects include the Digital Water Pavilion, a water-based architecture at the Expo Zaragoza 2008 that reacted to people walking through it thanks to digital technologies – named by Time magazine one of the “Best Inventions of the Year” – and the Future Food District, an interactive retail space at Expo Milano 2015. 


The project for the Italian Pavilion addresses the theme of Expo 2020 Dubai, “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.”

https://italyexpo2020.it/documenti/bandi-e-gare/ and by Invitalia on the portal https://gareappalti.invitalia.it.

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    CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati, Italo Rota, Matteo Gatto and F&M Ingegneria win the international design competition for Italy’s Pavilion at Expo Dubai 2020, themed "beauty connects people". The Pavilion explores the ways in which “beauty connects people” – the theme of Italy’s participation in next year’s World’s Fair – paying tribute to the long history of explorers who, throughout the centuries, sailed the seas and wove together a shared...

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