Before the opening of Expo 2015, Milan’s activities and preparations for the big International Fair will take place in an impressive new space in the heart of the city. Through the construction of two pyramid-like structures, Scandurra Studio have transformed and re-interpreted a large square at the end of Dante street to host the information centre and ticket booth for the Expo as well as providing an urban rehearsal for the activities and ideas that shape this year’s slogan “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life“.
Following an existing axis in the city of Milan, the architect’s proposal was to continue with the urban sense of void in order to provide a social, urban space for the ExpoGate -and so the strategy was to design two separate buildings that could work together as an impressive, monumental gate to serve as an iconic scenario for the activities to come.
This access gate is at the same time a physical place to provide information. Built according to the principles of lightness, transparency and modularity, the visible structure of the buildings is not only a scenario, but a medium to communicate with the city. The main metal frames are made up of five reticular pieces of pipes welded and linked with polished knots. The external part of this structure is designed to be able to support many different types of communication systems -LED screens, banners, media graphics will be easily set up and be removed, creating an urban-scale billboard for the upcoming events of the Expo.
According to the architects, the design of the Expo Milano Gate aims to represent an aesthetic of lightness, linked to sustainability and constructive economy -“a simple system realized with elementary technologies and materials which are entirely recyclable, easy to realize, and easily reconvertible.” These principles, while extremely contemporary, are also visible in the most celebrated International Exhibition Gate, built over 120 years ago: Eiffel’s Tower in Paris.
It is the mixture of past and present, the importance of urban context and historical precedents joined with a desire to make as much of the temporary condition of the Expo Milano Gate what makes cutting-edge architecture feel its belonging to cosmopolite Milan.