Tradition and innovation walked hand in hand within the Spanish pavilion at the Universal Exposition of Milan 2015, whose leitmotiv was “Feeding the planet. Energy for life”. From May 1st to October 31st, millions of people had the chance to visit this gigantic greenhouse, exclusively made of natural and recycled materials. Its impressive structure stretched over a surface of roughly 2,500 m2. Nicknamed “The language of flavour”, this huge architectural project, signed by the Barcelona-based firm b720, Fermín Vázquez Arquitectos, brought together two fundamental features: environmental sustainability and efficient energy use. “The project offers an apparently simple solution to the technical, spatial, functional and thematic complexity of this Expo. The plain, moderated geometry of the pavilion blends in all those qualities our country exports”.
Built around an element as typical of Spanish architecture as the patio (heir to the Arab courtyard usually planted with orange trees), the pavilion was split into two naves, one made of wood and the other one of stainless steel symbolizing tradition and innovation respectively. On the other hand, its finishes evoked products so rooted in our gastronomy as wine or olive oil. Easy to assemble and reusable, the architects tried to make the most of daylight and air circulation thanks to the combination of cross-laminated timber and transparent panels. All these components led into “a pavilion easily understandable, capable of generating souvenirs, whose structure in porticos created an effect of repetition strengthening singularity, and thus becoming attractive and striking”. In short, a unique project in which half a hundred professionals, from architects to engineers, agronomists, interior designers and hospitality consultants, were involved.
The renowned Spanish catering group Sagardi was in charge of the gastronomical offer in the pavilion. There were two spaces: El Altillo restaurant and Ses Salines tapas bar. Both of them were furnished with some of Expormim’s outdoor collections, such as the Nido hand-woven armchairs, designed by Javier Pastor, and Plump modular sofa, by Studio expormim, located at the first of the above-mentioned restaurants. For the tapas bar, however, a different outdoor collection was selected: the highly resistant Out_Line hand-woven chairs, a creation by Valencian designer Nieves Contreras. These were combined with the ambient light of the Meridiano outdoor lamps, by Vibia, undoubtedly, one of the most important Spanish lighting companies nowadays. It was an ephemeral construction. Nonetheless, it welcomed more than 2 million visitors. What better showcase can you get?