Interactivity is becoming a crucial part of architectural design and this year's Expo in Milan is no exception. The German pavilion, the form of which evokes the configuration of the country’s field and meadow landscapes, epitomizes this idea and invites visitors to become active participants in its exhibition. Design studio Schmidhuber enveloped the pavilion’s presentation in a large protective canopy that flows and slopes upward to a height of 10 meters and blurs the line between inside and outside, architecture, and the exhibition.
The slogan “Fields of Ideas” is reflected in the structure’s form and spatial effects—stylized plants grow as “idea seedlings” from the exhibition level to the surface, where they transform into a large canopy of leaves. Architectural office Schmidhuber was in charge of the design aspect, while Messe Frankfurt led the pavilion construction.
Visitors can take two distinct routes through the space: the first leads through a freely accessible landscape level and public park and offers glimpses of the exhibition below. The second route runs through the pavilion itself and showcases different sources of nutrition, including soil, water, climate and biodiversity and leads to the segment on food production and contemporary consumption trends. Visitors can use small mobile devices called “seed boards” to navigate the exhibition and chose their own way of exploring the space. The main emphasis is put on the issue of nutrition and the exhibit culminates with the “Be(e)active,” where visitors become an orchestra as they experience the theme from the perspective of flying bees.
Photos by Mike Chino for Inhabitat