Slow Food Pavilion: sustainable food and architecture for Milan Expo 2015

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After they walked off the masterplan project of the Milan Expo 2015, Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron didn´t think they would be invited back as designers of Slow Food pavilion, an exhibition space for the brand which promotes regional gastronomy and a slow pace of life. Far from being surprised, they took advantage to show what the Expo could have been under their direction: a series of simple and cheap structures, easy to assemble to focus only on the exhibition.

Slow Food Pavilion, a sustainable building for a sustainable food movement

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According with the theme for the 2015 Expo “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”, Slow Food wanted to show the will of the brand to explore and seek solutions for food shortage and waste. Thus Herzog & de Meuron, designed Slow Food Pavilion with three wooden sheds located at the end of the Expo site, framing a triangular courtyard with large planting boxes to grow vegetables and herbs. In fact, they were inspired by the traditional farmhouses of Italian Lombardy region, which offer shelter but also are exposed to the elements because of their open sides.

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The three pavilions are arranged following a simple logic: the first one host an exhibition to learn about different foods, the second contains tasting counters, and the third one is a space for talks and seminars.  The layout inside is quite simple too, creating an atmosphere of a refectory or a market. So, in this way, people can learn about food and consumption habits and its consequences for the planet, meet and discuss about sustainable agriculture and also taste its products. Finally, once the Expo is over, the three structures will be disassembled and transported to a selection of Italian schools, where they will be rebuilt and used as garden sheds. Therefore, Slow Food Pavilion will show how easy is to meet its goal of reuse, reduce and recycle in a sustainable way.

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Photos: Marco Jetti