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The Aus­tria Pavi­li­on for the Expo 2015 pro­po­sed by pen­da


The Aus­tria Pavi­li­on for the Expo 2015 in Mila­no pro­po­sed by pen­da with Alex Dax­böck gets main­ly desi­gned and after­wards eaten by its visi­tors.

The con­cept for the Aus­tri­an Expo Pavi­li­on 2015 exists of a struc­tu­ral frame which lea­ves enough free­dom for its visitor’s crea­ti­vi­ty to seed plants on its struc­tu­re and the space that at the end of the Expo the pavi­li­on will be ful­ly taken over by orga­nic food.

Fee­ding the Pla­net — the overal topic of the 2015 expo in Mai­land — gives Aus­tria the chan­ce to show what is real­ly gre­at about food in Aus­tria — the qua­li­ty. No other coun­try has more orga­nic food from local far­mers in shops and food­mar­kets. The rea­son for that is Austria’s size. Being a small coun­try means that local­ly pro­du­ced food has short ways to its cos­tu­mers with the gua­ran­tee to be fresh and healt­hy. Spe­ci­al­ly in times of increa­sing food scan­dals, GMO’s and world­wi­de coope­ra­ti­ons owning our food and water, crea­ting awa­reness of the impor­t­an­ce of regio­nal and sea­so­nal food is signi­fi­cant. This qua­li­ty and mind­set of local pro­duc­tion is the main design-princip­le of the pro­po­sal for the Aus­tri­an pavi­li­on 2015.

During the sum­mer­mon­ths of the Expo visi­tors are asked to fill the gaps bet­ween the tim­ber struc­tu­re with seeds of vege­ta­bles, fruits or herbs. As a design­princip­le the struc­tu­re is just a frame for home-grown food and the visi­tors are the main desi­gners deco­ra­ting the pavi­li­on with plants of their cho­sing. The­re­for the guests get a pot at the ent­ran­ce, then they turn onto an exhi­bi­ti­on ramp of 820sqm — part­ly out­si­de, part­ly insi­de — con­stant­ly sur­roun­ded by the main struc­tu­re. On this exhi­bi­ti­on ramp local plants and seeds are shown to the visi­tors and they are given an under­stan­ding of the lifecy­cle of plants and the pas­si­on of peop­le who are invol­ved in the pro­cess. The visi­tors get a clo­ser insight of how our food get see­ded and trea­ted while it grows, how it gets picked and har­ve­sted and the incredien­ces get com­bi­ned for tra­di­tio­nal Aus­tri­an cui­sine, wine or schnaps. That it does mat­ters what we eat should be the main mes­sa­ge of the exhi­bi­ti­on to bring to the visi­tors mind.

The ramp will end up at the restau­rant, whe­re all vege­ta­bles, fruits and herbs which are plan­ted by the visi­tors will be pre­pa­red by the kit­chen to tra­di­tio­nal Aus­tri­an dis­hes.

At the star­ting point of the Expo, the pavi­li­on will be a more or less a naked struc­tu­ral grid of 3.6m exe­cu­t­ed in qua­drup­le tim­ber with an squa­red pro­fi­le of 8cm side length. Having a modu­lar sys­tems which is based on a strai­ght grid, gives the pavi­li­on a gre­at free­dom of reac­ting to an increa­sing num­ber of visi­tors by implmen­ting more tim­bers and more pots.

With the see­ding, gro­wing and har­ve­s­ting of the plants, the pavi­li­on will be in a con­stant chan­ge during the 7 mon­ths and the appearan­ce of the pavi­li­on will turn from a struc­tu­ral frame into a grid which is ful­ly taken over by natu­re. Being a main part of this trans­for­ma­ti­on and expe­ri­en­cing the visit in the pavi­li­on with all sen­ses, the visitor’s bond to the Pavi­li­on will grow and Aus­tria will be con­nec­ted in people’s mind as a place for healt­hy food and a sustainab­le way of life.

 Pro­ject: The Aus­tria Pavi­li­on for the Expo 2015 pro­po­sal
Archi­tec­ts: pen­da


pen­da was estab­lished 2013 by Chris Precht (for­mer office Precht­Eck) and DAyong Sun (pe and da = pen­da). Our stu­di­os are inter­na­tio­nal­ly loca­ted in Vien­na and Bei­jing.

We see archi­tec­tu­re as a state­ment that always starts with ques­ti­ons about the con­tent and the con­text, about iden­ti­ty, den­si­ty and the com­mu­ni­ty of a spe­ci­fic site. That is why we tre­at each and every pro­ject in a uni­que and fresh way and the­re­for the out­co­me is always cos­tum-made.

We try to under­stand archi­tec­tu­re as an pro­fes­si­on of inter­wo­ven disci­pli­nes and con­se­quent­ly deve­lop an inno­va­ti­ve visi­on for soci­al, func­tio­n­al and for­mal issu­es, that will crea­te some­thing mea­ning­ful for the cli­ent while con­tri­bu­ting to the com­mu­ni­ty.

We love what we do, we are pas­sio­na­te about archi­tec­tu­re and deve­lop every pro­ject with the utter­most dedi­ca­ti­on.


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