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The bamboo pods stand in a shallow pool to give the appearance of floating — like lotuses do in ponds throughout Vietnam. There are 25 pods, all sized differently, and lotus-shaped stepping stones lead to the two-storey interior exhibition space. Completely porous, the pods and flexible screens promote natural ventilation.

Related: Coconut-shaped bamboo dome built without a single nail

Vo Trong Nghia chose the lotus plant because every single part of it is consumed in Vietnam, an example of genuine sustainability. “None of the plant is left for waste, with all parts of the plant considered a delicacy such as the roots, stalk, leaves, flowers, seeds and stamens,” Dezeen quotes the design team. “The lotus is used diversely in soups, salads, snacks, drinks as well as for natural medicine.”

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The pavilion itself will be recycled as well, when the five-month expo comes to a close in October. The prefabricated bamboo pods are easily dismantled for reuse, and because they are so lightweight, they won’t cost a fortune to ship like some of the heavier steel projects. Inhabitat has long fantasized about seeing a Vo Trong Nghia project firsthand, and it has definitely been worth the wait.

+ Inhabitat Milan Expo 2015 Coverage

+ Vietnam Pavilion

+ Milan Expo 2015