Italy-based Enel, Europe's second largest electricity and gas operators and official partner of Milan Expo 2015, unveiled their 900-square-meter pavilion made of 650 polycarbonate grafted vectors. This amazing light installation overlooks the main east-west road in Milan and creates a virtual forest accessed via a meandering ramp and surrounded with green courtyards. Designed by Italian firm PIUARCH, the pavilion is powered entirely by photovoltaic panels.
The network of LEDs placed on a grid produces a continuous changing of visitors’ perception of space. The polycarbonate tubes have a diameter of 150mm (about 6 inches) and vary in height, between 5.3 and 7 meters (about 17 to 23 feet). Together, they create a wavy pattern that conveys the idea of energy sharing. Visitors can enter both the virtual and the natural forest to interact with the vectors through light and sound. The green courtyards and surrounding greenery features a wide variety of plant species and herbs which belong to the “Mediterranean garden.” These plants adapt to the changing season and remind the visitors of the main topic of the system-sustainability.
The wooden walkway is covered by a printed glass roof to shelter the visitors from the elements and provide shade, while a nebulizer system adds sounds and music to complete the experience. The nerve center of the system, the Control Room, sits at the heart of the virtual forest, showing films and interactive elements to allow visitors to understand how this intelligent system works. Nestled in a glass envelope is the showroom with a terrace.
Images via Mike Chino for Inhabitat