Vo Trong Nghia has been selected to design the Vietnam Pavilion at the World Expo 2015 in Milan. The studio is modeling the pavilion after Vietnam's national flower, the lotus, to celebrate the country's culture and express the expo's theme of "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life." The pavilion will consist of a lotus pond with a shallow pool of water and a series of towering bamboo structures topped with trees.
Vo Trong Nghia‘s lotus pavilion was inspired by local flora, but it holds a universal message. “Growing from the muddy ponds it rises above the surface to bloom with remarkable beauty. The flower is proof that patience can turn difficulties into advantages,” says the architect. The lotus is also an important part of Vietnamese cuisine – every part of the plant is used, including the roots, stalk, leaves, flowers, seeds and stamens.
A two-story exhibition space will be positioned at the center of the pavilion, surrounded on all sides by water and framed by 25 bamboo structures of different sizes. The pool around the pavilion is designed to cool the air, creating a comfortable microclimate for visitors. Stepping stones in the pool shaped like lotus leaves will guide visitors towards the entrance, while screen walls around the perimeter will fold back on hot days to bring natural ventilation into the exhibition areas. After the temporary exhibit is over, the bamboo will be dismantled and reused for another project, in keeping with the environmentally conscious theme.