Italian architecture firm Piuarch unveiled designs for the ENEL Pavilion, an EXPO 2015 structure that highlights how the ENEL energy company will use smart renewable energy to power the Milan World Expo. The pavilion will physically represent ENEL’s smart energy grid using 650 vertically oriented polycarbonate vectors laid out in grid formation. The LED-illuminated columns will define outdoor rooms, like the green courtyards, and offer an interactive environment for visitors.
The pavilion will be located on a 900-square-meter site overlooking the Decumano, the main east-west road. The most eye-catching component of the pavilion design is the LED virtual “forest” made up of hundreds of vertically oriented clear polycarbonate tubes with varying heights. “The basic element of the space – both conceptual and structural – is the grid, which can be seen on the ground,” write the architects. “It is precisely this grid, which by means of a network created with metallic elements carrying the distribution of electricity and the flow of data, conveys the idea of energy sharing.”
The forest of LED tubes will also change its lighting intensity in response to visitor movement and surrounding soft music. Pockets of Mediterranean vegetation, like trees and flowers, will be interspersed around the grid. Visitors will be led through the pavilion through an elevated wooden walkway covered with a printed glass coating.