The most interesting pavilion? “Brazil.” Or so says Marko Brajovic, a IUAV graduate with a thesis on Russian Constructivist theater, who explains his choice: “For its coherence. It is the result of an international competition that involved the participation of two studios: one of architecture, that of Arthur Casas, and one of set design, my studio, helped by the local architect Mosae Milano.
We joined forces, with 15 persons in my studio and Arthur’s, and as we had already done for two other joint projects we developed a single concept that goes beyond disciplinary boundaries: in this pavilion everything combines for a synergic representation of what Brazil is like today and how it can contribute with solutions to feed the world. Before reaching the definition of a form and a modular structure in steel and wood, easy to dismantle and recycle, on three levels, we thought about all this.
So the suspended net stretched between the perimeter walls, on which to walk, is above all a metaphor of concepts of flexibility, decentralization and systemic relations between scientific research and advanced production, and it becomes our main driver. The expression of that vital energy always driven towards tomorrow that the Brazilian people already have, with their talent for hospitality, dialogue and positive exchange.
We wanted to open to the Expo like a large plaza, organized and supported by Apex-Brasil (the agency of promotion of exports and investments, ed.), creating a multisensory, interactive experience. How much can the eyes and body absorb in a route that lasts an average of 15 minutes? We have chosen to organize, in a Cartesian grid, a fluid path, without doors, combining two elements: the gallery which contains the ramp of ascent at the entrance, and the adjacent net, which touches on trees, vegetables, flowers and fruit, located in the plaza below which is conceived as a reproduction, from Google Maps, of the Amazon: a habitat where every square is a pixel activated by sensors that identify the location of visitors and react with sounds and lights, those of a situation of biodiversity.
To transform the parametric-digital programmed form of the net into a structure in synthetic fiber with a steel core, produced by the Danish company Kompan, we went to Berlin, where the engineering/technology part was developed. Next to this part, in perpendicular, stands the second volume of the pavilion, containing other exhibition spaces: by contrast, it is all white, neutral, modernist, enlivened by video projections and digital displays that narrate the history and culture of food in Brazil. As well as art and design.
The latter is the protagonist in the lobby, with the original woven cane benches by the Campana brothers, and in the restaurant, with 40 seats by designers like Sergio Rodrigues and Arthur Casas (who has designed two ad hoc products by Poliform, as well as the tables), lit by 170 beaded lamps with the form of a boa, by the Yawanawà craftsmen in collaboration with the designer Marcelo Rosenbaum and produced by La Lampe. Thoughts on the overall Expo? The Roman layout seems effective, with its synthetic way of aligning all the episodes along the Cardo and the Decumano.
The logistics of the site, on the border between Milan and Rho, adjacent to the existing Fair, almost like its natural spatial extension, easy to reach by subway, also contributes to the dimension of an area set aside for events, in an organic development. It is not alien ground. I believe more in small activators than in big master plans.”
focus by Antonella Boisi – photos by Saverio Lombardi Vallauri and Luca Rotondo