Expo 2020’s Pavilion Of Irony

Credit: Michele Nastasi

For a second day, the story that stands out as worth sharing here is one with irony written all over it. Nevermind that this event with 2020 in its name is just being reported on now. We all know that last year’s events got postponed for good reason.  It is a story about too little too late, without saying so. Reported from a region of the world made wealthy by the proliferation of plastic and other petrochemical product, there is not a hint of irony in this story. Needless to say, architecture rethinking building materials is a topic we care about. Even without being snarky, the irony of this story is hard to miss:

Italy’s eco-friendly Expo pavilion is made using orange peel and coffee grounds

Italy’s pavilion features a facade of nautical ropes, made with 2 million recycled plastic bottles. Credit: Michele Nastasi

With three full-size, seaworthy boat hulls as its roof and a facade of nautical ropes made from recycled plastic, Italy’s pavilion at Dubai Expo 2020 embraces the concept of reusable design.

Favored by an excellent placement within the Expo site — between the “Opportunity” and “Sustainability” thematic areas and with uninterrupted front and side views — the pavilion attracted a fifth of the overall visitors to the event in the opening weeks, making it one of the most successful.

“The biggest inspiration behind our design is the circular economy,” said architect Italo Rota, referring to the idea of recycling, repairing and reusing waste materials, rather than simply disposing of them.

Rota is one of the designers of the pavilion, and has worked extensively in Paris where he curated the lighting of both the Notre-Dame Cathedral and the banks of the Seine River. “The nautical ropes themselves are an example of it (the circular economy): they were produced through the recycling of 2 million plastic bottles and, when combined, they reach a length of 70 kilometers (43 miles). These are already planned for further recycling after the Expo.”…

Read the whole article here.

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