Romanian Pavilion at Expo Milano 2015

One of the objectives of The Romanian Pavilion at the “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life” World Expo 2015 in Milan, Italy is to provide an answer to the question of the coexistence between modern technology and urban lifestyle connected with the surrounding nature. The harmony between nature and non-invasive technologies could place Romania in a significant position in the European Agricultural context, with bio valences that are increasingly appreciated and sought after these days as opposed to the ones based on intensive volume. We believe that this is a path worth exploring for the future of Romanian Agriculture. Our pavilion aimed to accurately represent Romania’s position, which led to an image based on moderation, modesty and balance, perennial factors in traditional architecture. The first element presented to the public, when entering the pavilion, is water, flooding into an ecological pond symbolizing the Danube Delta, a unique natural element in Europe and with an important role in defining Romania’s geographic scenery. This water also serves the purpose of creating a buffer zone between the public space of the exhibition and the entrance to the Romanian Pavilion, preparing the visitor to embrace another atmosphere, just like stepping into a different world. The main access is made on a water resistant teak wood bridge that also serves as a waiting area. In the access area, the ground floor continues with several vertical lamellas that border the entrance bridge. Their setup, material and form suggest a pan flute, a musical instrument deeply connected to Romanian culture. Once visitors enter the ground floor, designed as a neutral volume in which the light is filtered by some tall and thin laminated wood lamellas that serve as structural elements as well, guests encounter a space that reveals versatile technologies such as LED displays covering the interior walls where the visitors can learn facts about Romania’s scenery, customs and traditions. The multi-purpose room is also flanked by LED displays, which can work together to enhance the events currently taking place inside. The room can act both as a conference and events location (closed) or as a complementary space to the permanent exhibition (open). After the visitor walks through the ground floor areas, getting acquainted with the essential aspects that establish our country’s profile, he can access the upper floor using the elevator or the exterior staircases. Here, visitors will find a restaurant designed to resemble a traditional Romanian house reinterpreted in a contemporary key, but still preserving everlasting elements from the vernacular architecture: the thatched roof, the wooden beam joints of the walls and, maybe most important, the porch, suggested by the roof that generously covers the border areas of the construction. The interior design is also inspired by traditional houses, therefore the tables and the chairs are slightly undersized. It is very important to mention that the restaurant is set in the middle of a vegetable garden where local varieties will be grown, their quality being more and more appreciated on the European market. The structure of the house is made out of wooden logs and strips of glass placed among them, offering a better view of the garden, harmonizing the relationship between the interior and exterior. The garden is bordered by a 50 cm thick wheat belt, a symbol of food and agriculture. The proposed layout allows for separate access to the first floor, making the restaurant independent of the pavilion below. We believe that our country can develop in harmony and even intimacy with traditional values and customs.

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Project made in collaboration with Artline – Radu Teacă & Adest Architecture

Architects: Radu Teacă, Radu-Petre Năstase     Collaborators: Eneth-Ágota Koszti, Alex Pintea     Location: Milan, Italy     Gross area: 600 m²

Project duration: 2014 – 2015     Status: competition first prize, built