The upcoming Milan Expo has been hit by yet another scandal, this time from reports that some of the Expo buildings will not be completed in time for the May 1 opening. The bad news follows a string of controversies including allegations of corruption and Expo masterplanner Jacques Herzog’s criticism of the event as a “vanity fair.” Although the Expo is slated to open on schedule, Italy Chronicles and Dezeen report that the buildings still under construction will not undergo standard safety inspections and a nearly €3 million separate contract has been awarded to hide ongoing construction with temporary screens—a hefty sum that adds to the €1.3 billion the Italian government has already invested into the Expo.
The Milan Expo 2015 will be one of the most buzzed-about design events of 2015 when it opens in May, and with good reason. The event will serve as a platform for innovative international design, with 140 countries showcasing their take on the impressive theme ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.’ Slated to run from May 1 to October 31, the Expo is expected to attract over 20 million visitors. The temporary pavilions are all designed to maximize energy efficiency and environmental protection and will educate visitors on those sustainable elements.
Despite these noble goals however, the Expo has fallen short of expectations. In a conversation with Dezeen, Wolfgang Buttress, designer behind the British pavilion, said that “a number of pavilions ‘haven’t a hope in hell’ of completing’ in time for the May 1 opening. Dezeen’s conversations with other pavilion designers revealed that Buttress was not alone in his concerns about the Expo falling behind its construction schedule.
The incomplete Expo buildings aren’t the only criticism on Buttress’ mind. He told Dezeen: ”The theme of this year’s Expo is Feeding the Planet, which is fantastic, it’s really laudable—but how do you square that with building nearly 150 pavilions, all spending 10-20-30 million plus, which is a lot of money? There is an inherent contradiction and irony in that.”