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UAE presents plans for Milan Expo 2015 pavilion

Sand walls to contain oasis of sustainable food and living

17 January, 14:30
UAE presents plans for Milan Expo 2015 pavilion (By Emily Backus) (ANSA) - Milan, January 17 - The United Arab Emirates this week presented their Milan Expo 2015 pavilion, which was designed by vanguard British architectural firm Foster + Partners following the concept of techno-sustainability.

Called Food for Thought, the pavilion on a 4,000-square-meter lot will feature 12-meter-high, 140-meter-long, curving parallel sand walls, a cylindrical rotating auditorium immersing the public in a 360-degree video projection, and a three-floor "oasis" with vegetable gardens, a cafe', a restaurant, and a panoramic terrace, where visitors can experience Arab cuisine.

Built following sustainability principles such as rainwater recovery, recycled materials, and solar panels, the pavilion demonstrating the relationship between water, food, and energy will be taken apart and rebuilt in its home country after the fair.

It is also a working demonstration of Masdar City, an entirely sustainable, clean-energy enclave delivering the highest quality living and working environment with the lowest possible ecological footprint, which architect Norman Foster's firm is building in Abu Dhabi.

"It will be an experience they won't forget," UAE Expo 2015 General Commissioner Salem al-Ameri said.

"This is a key partnership for us" ahead of the 2020 Expo in Dubai, added Italian Expo Commissioner Giuseppe Sala.

"The UAE pavilion confirms the emirates will take center stage in Milan. We are highly satisfied with the commitment being shown ahead of our world's fair," commented Expo 2015 Undersecretary Maurizio Martina.

Expo 2015 will explore the theme 'Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life' on an exposition site covering 110 hectares (272 acres).

At the heart of the World Fair's exhibition site, the Italian pavilion will stand and will also remain in Milan after the fair ends, showcasing the Italian food system, local food supply chains and typical products. It will also have space dedicated to the European Union. An exhibit on Italy's pavilion closed Wednesday after being on show for three months in the presidential palace in Rome.

More than 21,700 visitors came to see the exhibit called Italy Pavilion: From the Design to Milan Expo 2015, displayed November 8-January 15 in the Honour Guard Hall of the Quirinale presidential palace.

Designed by Italian consortium Nemesi & Partners, Proger and BMS Progetti, the pavillion will take the form of an 'urban forest' resembling an ultra-modern burrow of crisscrossing, twig-and-straw-like construction enclosing an ample 'piazza' atrium. The Expo is expected to attract 29 million visitors over the six-month period from May 1 to October 31.

An average of 140,000 people per day are expected, with peaks of 250,000 people.

The Italian company Came on Thursday presented plans for Expo 2015's high-tech entrance systems, including 250 automated turnstiles - 40 of which will be handicapped accessible - and road barriers to allow the passage of roughly 400 logistical vehicles per night. Each turnstile will allow up to 720 people to pass through per hour, and will be followed by metal detectors for additional security. Milan Expo 2015 should be open daily from 8:00 am to 11:30 pm, Sala said Thursday.

If all goes according to plan, visitors will be able to enter the Milan fairgrounds one hour before national pavilions open at 9:00.

The fair should then close at 11:30 pm five days a week to allow participants at evening events to depart the grounds.

The opening times are expected to be finalised at the end of January.