photos                 about

Type Academic Studio Project
Location Milan Expo 2015, Italy
Professor Ralf Weber, Visting Faculty from Technishe Universität Dresden, Germany
Year 2012

For this academic studio, students were asked to propose a project for the 2015 EXPO Milano. I began by looking at past expos and world’s fairs: contexts where innovative ideas and culture were shared among visitors. The Eiffel Tower in Paris, for example, was built as a main attraction for the Exposition Universelle in 1889, paving the way for steel as a major building material. And Elisha Otis famously demonstrated the safety features he added to the elevator in front of an awestruck crowd in New York in 1853, which of course has revolutionized the way buildings function today.

I then wanted to ask the question: in an age of the internet and widespread information, what is the relevancy of physically attending an expo? What is the environmental cost of travel to see and experience such a place? My proposal is a pavilion which separates, or sequesters, visitors based on the method of transportation they each used to arrive at the expo as a way to physically diagram each person’s carbon footprint. The methods of transportation (walking, taking a train, riding a bicycle, driving, or flying) are each represented by an individual path that meanders throughout the pavilion. Visitors who arrived by plane, for example, have a much higher carbon impact than someone who walked or rode a bicycle.

The building itself is a wood truss which is covered with an undulating fabric mesh. There are a series of steel boxes that project through the structure to allow for views outward to the city and the rest of the expo.

© wesley j thompson 2018