As the Milan Expo continues, we find ourselves delving deeper into each pavilion's design. The big surprise this year is Uruguay's striking entry. Participating for the first time in a Universal Exposition with its own national pavilion, which was designed by Javier Díaz Charquero, an architect for the National Meat Institute, and realized with a support of the two local Italian architectural firms Campana Costruzioni and MSC Associati, the Pavilion features an eye-catching rustic solar shading system made of rough wooden logs.
The Uruguay Pavilion has been built with recycled and reused materials only, ready to be reclaimed once the Expo is over. In addition to appealing horizontal wooden strips, Uruguay is remarkable for its exposed upright steel structure. The combination of the two (raw wooden blocks and white steel partitions) give the building a strong personality, a metaphor for balance between the built and natural environment.
In practical terms, the conspicuous steel-and-wood pair work together as a skin, detached from the building’s core. Light, bright and suspended in the air, this shading mesh protects the Pavilion from solar radiation.
Structurally the Uruguay Pavilion is a spiral formed by a curving staircase that runs between the exterior brise soleil wrap and the core of the building. This helical-like perimeter ramp envelopes the Pavilion’s oval shape to provide access to each level. In sum, the Pavilion hosts about 785 square meters of interior space, including exhibition areas, offices, a restaurant and a souvenir corner.
Located on the main Decumano avenue between China and Thailand, Uruguay is definitely among the players that count, architecturally speaking. Its 3-storey Pavilion built on a plot of only 747 sq.m. stands out with undeniable dignity and high architectural quality. Enjoy this unique design experience, if you get the chance; otherwise, flip through our galley below.
Images via Maria Novozhilova for Inhabitat