Mario Cucinella Architects Reveals Design for Italian Pavilion at Expo Osaka 2025

25 Sept 2023

3 min

Mario Cucinella Architects has just revealed the design of the Italian Pavilion for Expo Osaka 2025. Envisioned as a dynamic entity, the pavilion aims to foster knowledge and innovation through the interplay of different generations and cultures. It will serve as a collaborative repository of Italian expertise, encompassing artistic, scientific, entrepreneurial, and social experiments. The display is designed around Italy's cultural treasures and aims to highlight, deconstruct, and then reinterpret them in a contemporary manner.

The Pavilion is made up of two main parts: a prominent building that houses the leading exhibition experience and a service facility that serves additional purposes behind the exhibition space. The Pavilion’s architectural style blends seamlessly with its natural surroundings, allowing the light from the sky and the sea to fill the building. The building’s main front has an open portico with tall columns that frame the architectural trail for guests and offer a look into a roomy atrium.

Visual by MCA Visual

The circulation encourages visitors to set out on a creative adventure where they will gradually become immersed in the spirit of Italy. This includes the vivid colors, the proportions, and the sense of community found in Renaissance paintings. In fact, the experience has been divided into three separate “acts,” each rooted in locations and experiences in which Italy has played an essential role.

In the theater, Italy’s infamous performing arts heritage is on display. In an immersive, multisensory theatrical space that subjects the viewer to visual suggestions, sounds, movements, and colors, visitors will experience an alteration of perceptions. Throughout the experience, possible future scenarios will come up. Here, the spectator becomes interchangeable with the actor, and the natural world becomes indistinguishable from the virtual.

Archivio MCA

In The Ideal City, the space is designed to accommodate a novel future that can be shaped through an inclusive and socially oriented approach. The concept of the Ideal City emerged in fifteenth-century art, serving as a representation of the Renaissance’s theoretical idea of a perfect urban environment. In these depictions, the Ideal City was portrayed as a place characterized by profound emptiness, devoid of human life, which transformed the Utopian vision into a dystopian and metaphysical realm. This perspective offers an opportunity to reintroduce people, nature, sustainability, and vitality at the core of the future Ideal City.

Furthermore, this approach seeks to elevate quality and craftsmanship by integrating them with cutting-edge technologies. It is a platform for storytelling, in-depth knowledge exploration, and creative endeavors, featuring a series of contemporary workshops dedicated to various themes such as technology and energy, food and the environment, manufacturing and design, and art and architecture.

Ground floor plan by MCA

Finally, the Pavilion’s roof hosts the Italian Garden. Designed as a place for leisure and delight, it is a modern interpretation of the labyrinth, symbolizing humans’ power over nature. The Italian Garden suggests that humans may confine these experiences by subjecting them to rules, laws, and mathematics. In this portion of the display, visitors have the chance to experience a new equilibrium between the natural and the artificial. The Italian Garden is envisioned as the ultimate balance between life’s organic originality and human design’s rationality.

The Pavilion project began by studying Osaka’s local climate to understand its unique features. The project takes an integrated approach, aiming to mitigate its environmental impact and create a circular economy at the construction site. It prioritizes natural materials, short supply chains, recycled content, non-toxic components, and sustainability certifications to achieve this. At the end of its lifecycle, the Pavilion becomes a resource, as its elements can naturally transform to meet new needs without further processing.

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