Expo 2015: Apple Orchard at the Polish Pavilion
small, Expo 2015: Apple Orchard at the Polish Pavilion, Visualisation by 2PM studio, winner of the competition for the Polish pavilion at Expo 2015, photo: courtesy of the organisers, ogrod_dach.jpg
Piotr Musiałowski, co-founder of the Warsaw-based studio 2PM, will design the Polish Pavilion at the Expo 2015 in Milan. The architect's indoor orchard idea prevailed against 59 competitors.
On May 1st, 2015, Expo 2015 will open in Milan. It aims to be the largest international event ever organised to unite countries, institutions, companies and citizens in exploring ideas and solutions for ensuring sufficient nutritious food for the growing global population. The tradition of Universal Expositions dates back to the 19th century and the industrial revolution. Country pavilions evolved over time, taking shape in the 1920s. They were given the name "Expo" in 1967.
Country pavilions are cutting edge, architecturally significant constructions which have come to represent the country in question more than its content. Poland has a history of successful pavilions. In 2000, a team of architects from Krakow (headed by Wojciech Obtułowicz) built a postmodern pavilion encircled by an open corridor in Hanover. Another Krakow studio (Krzysztof Ingarden and Jacek Ewy) designed the Polish pavilion for Expo 2005. A cylindrical, metal building with white wicker walls was built to stand for Poland in the Japanese prefecture of Aichi. Five years later, an irregular openwork plywood building with folk patterns was constructed by architects Marcin Mostafa, Natalia Paszkowska and Wojciech Kakowski in Shanghai.
The competition for designing a national pavilion is a prestigious one. Year by year, the number of applicants grows. Despite the late decision on Polish participation in the Expo, 59 projects were submitted for review this year. The contestants included well-known studios as well as young architects. The main prize was awarded by the jury (headed by architect Włodzimierz Mucha) to the Warsaw studio 2PM, led by Piotr Musiałowski. The young architects presented a work of "youthful vitality" which brings to life the concepts of the Polish participation. The Polish pavilion will be an apple orchard. Piotr Musiałowski elaborates,
The aim of Polish participation in the Polish Pavilion project at Expo 2015 in Milan is to use things associated with the economic success of Polish agriculture. Analysing the topic, we came to one possible conclusion. As a leader in the production and export of apples, the narrative of the exposition should be based on the apple tree.
Inspired by the form of an apple crate, the architects worked out an openwork elevation which resembles stacked wooden fruit containers. The outer shell will light up at dusk.
Inside will grow an orchard with lanes of budding apple trees. Their vegetative cycle happens to coincide with the Expo. By the end of it, visitors will be able to pick the fruits. The interior walls will be covered in mirrors, creating the illusion of an orchard stretching out to the horizon.
Due to the set competition rules, the Polish pavilion is narrow in the front and wide in the back. Building on this irregularity, the architects have planned a hidden entrance lodged between the two parts of the construction. The narrow part, leading up to the orchard, will take the visitor on an olfactory and auditory trip to Poland.
Second place in the Polish Pavilion design competition went to the Warsaw-based studio WXCA (in cooperation with Platige Image) for a project that used Polish linen in its elevation. Third place was given to PIG Architects who wanted to build a two-part pavilion with segments which would move during the day, revealing new parts of the presentation.
An honourary mention went to the team of Dawid Wirth, Aleksandra Kościłowska, Filip Skowroński, Agnieszka Mańkiewicz-Kipa and Krzysztof Kipa, for a building made of the short swirling pasta shapes liked by both Italians and Poles.
The exhibition in the Polish pavilion (composed of traditional and multimedia presentations) will contribute to the Expo's mission: assuring food for the growing global population through innovative sustainable practices and new ways of collaboration. "Poland is a powerful exporter of food" Minister of Economy Janusz Piechociński affirmed.
Author: Anna Cymer, translator: Mai Jones 09/06/2014