Obstacles, Challenges and Responses
Propelling through the history of international fairs and expositions, their expressing identities and encouraging the people of all nations for a magnificent global gathering , Expo Milano 2015 unveils a new and unique vision to face the challenge of a pavilion creation. Imagining the expo site as a puzzle of a comprehensive farmland of ideas, we reveal the Persian Garden as Iran’s pavilion for Expo Milano 2015, an idea which should comprise an upbeat attitude and play an effectual role to achieve the global perspective of “Feeding the planet, Energy for life”. The designers’ vision towards the Persian Garden is inspired by its self-sufficient and compatible identity. Therefore, the main concept of the project is an abstract deduction of a natural tree organism which is simply sustainable in its essence .The tree offers a pleasant space on its shadow, carries natural ventilation and becomes a rain shelter in the rainy days of Milan. We seek to propose an entity which not only responds the Expo 2015 theme and Iran’s general approach but also emerges gloriously and clearly narrates its story in an eloquent way. Iran’s pavilion should be an alluring depiction of its long-time civilization, art, historical characteristics and cultural events with having close connection with agronomics, food and technology.
As an initial step, preserving the Expo’s codes and guides, a legible and impressive character is gradually shaped while the border of the pavilion and its surroundings is faded. Meanwhile, to absorb maximum and efficient sunlight, facets stand obliquely while the hierarchical accessibility and fundamental elements of a Persian garden -Natural light, water streams and trees- configure the basis of the design.
A simple cuboid
We start the design by imagining the whole space available as a simple cuboid. While displaying the site and its height restrictions, this plain cuboid indicates the legal boundaries and general proportions for the pavilion design.
Identifying the functional requirements for the pavilion, the mass is divided to smaller parts to start the space organization puzzle of the project.
Scaling for space
Considering functional aspects and space qualities, every divided element is scaled and extended to its appropriate proportion to play an efficient role in the whole space.
The scaled elements are oriented and positioned systematically, reflecting the urging visual movement on the basis of the function. While the main axis is broken, spatial organization is preserved and hierarchical accessibility is configured gradually.
As the final touch, Persian arches are crafted continuously throughout the path, leaving a historical characteristic and a subtle presence. The form is completed with parametric patterns weaved on the transparent façade while maintaining its structural function.
Reminding the structure of the dome and various transition techniques in historical Persian monuments, from polygonal shapes to circular forms in the Persian architecture-Karbandi,Yazdibandi-, we impel to extract the parametric pattern of the ” Sheikh Lotfo-Allah” dome in Isfahan seamlessly whilst interplaying with light and shade and integrating the architecture with its structure . The arising structure is an emblematic indication of germination through nature. It creates a comprehensible interactive dialogue between texture, light and form in the design context while disassembled and sustainable features are considered.
While vertical accessibility facilities are located in different parts of the pavilion, the main circulation and spatial organization of the pavilion differs throughout the day and the night. This means visitors experience various activities and events depending on the time of their visit. The functional spaces are housed on different levels which are accessible by lifts and stairs. After walking through the arcades and achieving the top floors, an awe-inspiring panoramic view is offered from the Expo’s landscape. According to our scenario, the four main climatic zones of Iran are proposed as the journey destination of the visitors’ in the form of four pavilions. They confront the compelling challenges, feel the ambient pleasantly and wet their appetite to taste Iranian foods. The stylized lands subtly depict the culture, farming method achievements and innovative organic food production and presented via digital media, three dimensional pictures and installations. The maintenance areas are housed in ground floor while the first level is allocated to food court .The galleries are considered in the above level to approach panoramic views of surroundings. Ultimately the green roof offers a wide context to night events and gathering spaces.
As a consequence of the continuous arches and open areas alongside the water stream, natural ventilation is deduced throughout the pavilion. Meanwhile the rain water is re-collected, stored in a tank, filtered and distributed to the lower parts of the area for re-use, lavation, and etc. Solar panels are efficiently angled on the roof to receive an important amount of sunlight for providing a high percentage of energy required for the pavilion. The recommended structural system is Diagrid shell system which requires less structural steel than a conventional steel frame and also obviates the need for large corner columns and provides a better distribution of load in the case of a compromised building. Applying ETFE panels which is a transparent polymer and used instead of glass and plastic is suggested.
Turquoise Garden of Fertility
The visitors’ journey starts from the moment of emerging “The Persian Turquoise Garden “from far away. The garden which depicts the scenery of fertility, germination, humanity, hospitality and myth of eternality in Iranian’s historical believes. Sound of the gurgling stream, singing birds and the aroma of greenery calls visitors to the land of four seasons, Iran. They are invited to a whimsical and vibrant landscape where it’s pioneering role in feeding the planet, recycling energy and sustainable attitude through the history can be narrated authentically. The Iran pavilion is an abstracted deduction of the foliage and follows the Expo theme: “Feeding the planet, Energy for life” while exploring the trace of cookery in culture, literature and the various art of this civilization. The concept is inspired by the tree organism which is fed by the soil, which then gradually grows, feeds the others and spreads over the earth to assert its support. Iranian hospitality heritage, welcomes its guests to the garden of the turquoise woven laces with its Persian carpet which illustrates the memories of historical events, mysterious love stories and immortality. Interplays the light and shade on the surfaces, deduces the texture delicately and emerges a live performance of the nature and architecture. The dynamic context of the surroundings pervades along the pavilion which embraces guests warmly by aesthetically integrating the Blue Vault of Heaven, greenery of the garden and redness of roses. Visitors’ minds are drowned to depth, while the pavilion narrates its strong commitment and vital role towards comprehensive global perspective at Expo Milano 2015.
The subtle presence of Iran’s pavilion, invites people of all nations in a country-yard for a constructive dialogue and sharing divers ideas for modern agriculture in an intimate and dynamic atmosphere to survive the planet and its habitants. The itineraries are buried in the soil symbolically while the visitors, experience interactive collaboration of nature and human beings during their long journey through life and civilization and simply share their effective ecological awareness with each other. They stroll along the river-side; feed the gold fishes and pick the stylized strawberry and fruits along their way. They find themselves in the turquoise promenade of a garden which is an illustration of the “Promised Paradise” and inspiration of purity and spirituality. In other words, a unique reflection of the heaven on the earth!
Weaving laces of the structure draws ideas from the consistency of Iranian arches to be a reminiscence of Iran’s historical art, while ascending to the stairs and lifts, the passengers can take shots from the expo site while framing the surroundings and making a panoramic view like a puzzle through the branches of the trees.
The wide range of temperature fluctuation at different parts of the country-yard and the multiplicity of climatic zones makes it possible to cultivate a variety of crops, including cereals, fruits, dates, grapes, pomegranates, pistachios and etc. Iran‘s vital role in export, production and its offering food industry standards are all displayed in the context of the pavilion.
Smell of the Rain …
On the journey from the north to south, across the moderate and humid region, they pass through a fascination series of greenery and paddy fields, walking in the rain while the smell of rice and sea foods wet their appetite. The cultural events of this region and the trace of cookery with close connection of secure nutrition are presented vividly in a spirited context.
Towards the Desert
Offering the passengers to take their shoes off, they experience the memorable feeling of walking on the dune of the desert. Turning their eyes, looking at hundreds of stars in the sky and affiliating them in the divers colors of life and the people of Iran .They explore the extraordinary process of carrying water on the infertile lands of this region and the secrets of the appearance of a green garden at the heart of the desert. Further on, our passengers get closely familiar with the “Quanat” which is a smart piping system that recognizably lasted hundreds of years in Iran. They taste the fruits and grains cropped in this region of Iran and experience the silence of the desert and its lovable amenity.
The Blanket of Snow…
Keeping their way on, leads them to the scenery of snow spread on the floor. They feel a cold wind blowing through the space and take steps to the mere white- colored landscape where colorful passengers themselves make it alive to demonstrate the reality of the significant role of people preserving the nature and the planets identity.
They travel to the south of Iran and experience an extreme humidity and hot environment. With the emergence of the palm trees falling from the sky along the sea shore at sunset, the passengers experience interactive collaboration with its aqua culture and aquatic life. They become a part of the agile and warm fields of life when they enjoy picking dates and olives.
A Future World
Towards a comprehensive global prospective and retaining its coherent achievements through time, Iran’s pavilion offers its modern attainment in “genetically modified foods”, nanotechnology research programs and agriculture technological trends. The agile ambient of this part offers alternative solutions and compel impetus for the future of the world.
A manifestation is appearing
Iranian‘s commitment contemplates for eradicating hunger, malnutrition, human equality in accessing secure nutrition and sharing their latest achievements with all of the world.
The passengers are invited to an Iranian ceremony in a green plateau when the night spreads a new veil over the garden .The aesthetic lightening creates brilliant animated scenes of stars dancing in the sky which appear as suspended diamonds over the woven branches. The bright turquoise branches arise from the land to the night sky to share their hopeful vistas with the stars and invite them to become a part of the bustle.
A Taste of Iran
In the open court of preparing Iranian traditional foods, the passengers get familiar with the gastronomy and fresh juices and relish what the miscellaneous lands offer. The smell of Iranian cuisine guides them to the food court on the roof where they find themselves above the trees while enjoying participating in traditional dancing and playing musical instruments.
A productive souvenir
A miniature of the structure is given to the passengers. It can be a vase or a cup as reminiscence of their pleasant and informative journey to Iran. They pass through the promenades, look back to take a last shot of the Persian Turquoise Garden when their memorable smiles are engraved in the history of Iran…Location: Italy Architect: New Wave Architecture | Lida Almassian/Shahin Heidari Project name: Iran Pavilion
Year: Autumn 2013
Design Associates: Zahra Hamedani, Helaleh Alaei, Mohammad Keshavarzi, Fatemeh Dehghani, Soheila Zahedi,Golnaz Baharami, Mona Ramzi, Maryam Shokouhi, Sara Milani Nia