Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
UK Pavilion Milan Expo 2015 by Wolfgang Buttress
May 12th, 2015 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Wolfgang Buttress
Bringing together 147 countries and an anticipated 20 million visitors, the Milan Expo is taking place between May and October 2015 with a focus on the urgent challenge of how to feed the world as the global population is projected to increase to nine billion in 2050.
Under the themeGrown in Britain, the UK will be a part of it with animmersivePavilion designed by Wolfgang Buttress and built by Stage One.
Through the Pavilion, the UK aims to boost global perceptions of the country as an excellent place for trade and investment, as well as to visit. The Pavilion will demonstrate the UK’s strengths and the business opportunities that exist across several sectors including technology, life sciences and the creative industries.
The 1,910 square metre Pavilion will be developed around the concept of the beehive, the role of the honeybee and how new research and technology are helping to address food security and biodiversity. The humble bee plays a unique role in our ecosystem and strong parallels can be drawn between the culture and interactions in a bee colony and those in human societies.
The Pavilion consists of five main areas for visitors to experience:
Visitors to the UK pavilion are greeted by an orchard of British fruit trees. The surrounding walls evoke an English country garden.
Entrance to the ‘meadow experience’ is gained via an earthy corridor of corten steel, open to the sky. The 40-metre long meadow will continually change as the plants grow over the six month Expo period.
Multiple paths and routes reference the orienteering ‘bee dance’, inviting the visitor to explore and participate in the development of their own journey towards the hive beyond.
Amphitheatre seating at the end of the meadow provides a perfect resting place to simply take in the experience, or to engage in the entertainment the UK Pavilion has to offer. The hive is raised to create a sheltered piazza area underneath. This allows visitors to pass beneath and to look up through the layers of the structure, glimpsing the movement of people within. People may seem like bees within a hive, and in this way the design plays with perceptions, shifting between the micro and macro.
Heading up to the level above, visitors arrive at the Terrace. This 300 square metre podium, sited above the Architectural Programme, plays host to an extensive social space, including a bar. Access to the Hive is gained from the Terrace area.
Elevation of TheHive
The Hive is a 14x14x14 metre 3D cuboid lattice structure made from aluminium sited upon three metre-tall columns. A spherical void hollowed from its interior allows visitors to enter.
The structure is connected to live beehives situated offsite. Audio-visual devices embedded within the structure allow it to pulse, buzz and glow according to signals from a real beehive. Accelerometers measure the vibrational activity of the real bees and these signals are fed into an array of LED lights within the sphere to generate a dynamic, visual representation of the bees’ activity.
This experience offers visitors a glimpse into the life of the bee colony, and demonstrates innovative research technology through an immersive sensory experience.
The Architectural Programme
Situated beneath the Terrace is the Architectural Programme. This flexible auditorium space connecting to a VIP area provides a perfect space for conferences and one-off events. At other times, this space forms part of the public experience as a video/projection and exhibition room.
Biography and Approach
Wolfgang Buttress is an award winning artist working with public and private space. He creates simple, elegant and contextual artworks, which seek to define and celebrate a sense of place and the sublime. His work alludes to histories, traces and memories that are both personal and contextual.
He was born in 1965 and studied BA (Hons) Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University in 1987. His practice has evolved over the past thirty years and has exhibited and created artworks in the UK and internationally.
Space (Tokyo, Japan, 2014), UNA (Canberra, Australia, 2013), Venus Rising (Brisbane, Australia, 2011), Rise (Belfast, Northern Ireland, 2011).
Over the last two years Wolfgang has won numerous national and international awards, including the International Structural Steel Award for projects under £2million (2013) and the first Western artist to win the prestigious Kajima Gold Award in Japan for ‘Space’(2014).
He is the artist and creative lead behind the UK Pavilion Milan 2015 working alongside architects BDP and structural engineer Tristan Simmonds.
Contact Wolfgang Buttress