Milan Expo 2015: The Pavilions – the best of the rest

Words by Herbert Wright


Architecture Studio Arthur Casas and Atelier Marko Brajovic
Area 4,133 sq m

It's confusing. Save the Children is in a modest single-storey building and, next to it, people are walking, climbing and even trampolining on a vast net strung across an open-ended hollow rectangular tube of Corten steel. In fact, this is the Brazilian pavilion next door, and it gives the UK fair competition for the most open structure in the Expo (unless you count the Dutch pavilion as a structure).

Brazil Pavilion Milan Expo 2015

Some 10m high and 12m across, with a boardwalk floor, its walls are a lattice of squares, some with a mesh, others open. The net flows into the structure, with enough space underneath for boxes of Brazilian plants to grow, and a raised, fixed ramp runs along one side, perhaps echoing those of Brazilian modernists such as Lina Bo Bardi or Paulo Mendes da Rocha.

In fact, there is an enclosed volume, half the size of that already open, accessed towards the back, because the pavilion is an L-shape. It promises minimalist white spaces showcasing subjects like Brazilian bio-technology. In the meantime, the pavilion is a stage for communal activity... or at least, a lot of clambering.

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