The pavilion that will represent Italy at the next Universal Exposition in Dubai in 2020 with the theme “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future,” is an architectural work that brings to life, with creativity and innovation, the “beauty that connects people,” the Italian beauty that has always been a key element connecting different populations, talents and ingenuities and the shared Mediterranean cultural inheritance, serving as a bridge to the future.
The international competition for the design of the Italian Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai saw the submission of 19 different proposals, and was concluded with the awarding of the grouping of companies consisting of CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati, Italo Rota Building Office, F&M Ingegneria and Matteo Gatto & Associati.
In the architectural project, the hulls of three Italian ships arrived by sea shall be overturned and raised one next to the other on tall pillars, becoming the cover of the Pavilion. Each of them painted in a different way, the three hulls will appear, seen from above, like three petals composing the colors of the Italian flag. The Pavilion’s architecture celebrates the history of Italian explorers who, throughout the centuries, sailed the seas and reached distant lands, weaving together contacts and relations around the world. The Italian Pavilion tells the story of a journey into the beauty of Italy, constant fruit of contaminations, exchanges and connections of knowledge, ingenuity, talent and art. At the same time, the overturning of the hulls is a choice based on sustainability, that also connects to an ancient tradition of seafaring populations and fishermen from Europe and the world.
The Italian Pavilion will take up a surface of around 3,500 square meters, will be over 25 meters tall and will be located in an area of high visibility within the site of Expo 2020 Dubai.
“The project of Ratti, Rota, Gatto and F&M,” says Paolo Glisenti, General Commissioner for Italy at Expo 2020 Dubai, “allows us to realize not only an exhibition space, but a space that represents the best of Italian ingenuity, offering a memorable experience to visitors, and showing the world multidisciplinary competences, talents and intelligences that can become promoters of new educational, professional and entrepreneurial opportunities. The Italian Pavilion will be realized with the contributions of partner companies – large, medium and small – called to provide the best structural, engineering, technological and scenographic components, that are able to demonstrate the most innovative competences committed today to sustainability, to the circular economy, to digital architecture.”
“Turning over and reusing the ships was an act that had a profound appeal to us: not only because it is laden with historical value, but because it represents the realization of a circular architecture from the project’s beginning. The ships that become part of the Pavilion can continue to be used in different ways even after the end of the Expo,” explains Carlo Ratti, founding partner of CRA design practice and director of the MIT Senseable City Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
“The exhibition path will be marked by a gradual ascent until a point where it becomes possible, with some help from the imagination, to observe Italy from the sky,” explains architect Italo Rota, founding partner of Italo Rota Building Office: “There will be a ‘Prologue’ with large spaces inspired by the forms of important Italian piazze, and a Grand Finale that will be almost like a cathedral to nature, to light, to the music of the universe, like the sky over the Mediterranean and the Desert.”
The technical partners for the realization of the Italian Pavilion will be selected among entrepreneurial realities, public entities and research institutions, also syndicated with companies, that embody Italian competence and the most advanced and sustainable technological innovation, and that can participate directly in the realization of the Pavilion through the different forms of contribution current regulations require.
All interested professionals can present their applications by responding to the “Request for Proposals” that will be published shortly by the General Commissioner for Italy at the Expo 2020 Dubai on the website https://italyexpo2020.it/documenti/bandi-e-gare/ and by Invitalia on the portal https://gareappalti.invitalia.it.