SG2 Design
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This project was done with Arch. Francesca Vecchia, as part of an international competition to design an information pavilion for the Milan Exposition at Rho in 2014.

Plant cells and seed structures were the inspirational force behind the design of this information pavilion, which is in direct response and relation to the Milan Universal Expo's theme of 'Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.'
Plant stem cells serve as the origin of plant vitality and have the ability to self-renew and generate, withstand harsh external influence and therefore preserve life. Cell structures are geometrically composed and provide the means to transport the products for photosynthesis, which in itself is a re-generative fuel system used by plants to make food from the sun's energy. This is necessary for life on earth and all are appropriate means to our greater cause.

The spatial layout of the pavilion is generated through the lateral and vertical growth of platforms around a central lift core, which acts in a similar fashion to the 'stele' in a plant cell (the vascular cylinder that contains transport vessels). The pavilion is enclosed by a protective outer skin/ carapace, similar to the 'epidermis'. The longitudinal layout of the pavilion is located in a fairly central position along the Decumano, which makes it highly visible and accessible from most key vantage and entry points around the site.

The overall shape and enclosing skin of the pavilion resembles a giant seed (or seed pods), which metaphorically enforces the notion of 'generating life' - the universal theme. Giant operable scales surround the outer skin in a similar fashion to a pinecone, who's scales open-out to germinate. The pavilion's scales are lined in photovoltaic cells, which generate energy (like photosynthesis) and provide some solar shading for vistors within the space. The structure itself is composed of interlaced bamboo sections, which is a highly sustainable material that ceates a relatively light-weight, strong yet flexible sub-frame over which are fixed clear efte panels and the scales. These scales are more dense at ground level and more open as they approach the top of the pavilion where views from the first floor are maximised. This system also creates an interesting play of light at night, when the pavilion becomes like a beacon to draw attention from afar.

©2014 Sebastiano Ghezzi

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