Sailing Beauty – Italy’s Pavilion at Expo Dubai 2020

Aman Mehta / March 20, 2019

In a concept inspired by maritime tradition, three boats will arrive in Dubai by sea and then be flipped upside down to form the roof of the Italian pavilion at Expo 2020. This winning design by Carlo Ratti Associati, Italo Rota Building Office, Matteo Gatto & Associati and F&M Ingegneria explores the theme of Italy’s participation in next year’s world fair – beauty connects people.

The design pays homage to ancient seafaring explorers who were instrumental in weaving together a shared Mediterranean cultural heritage and also celebrates pelagic populations and fishermen, while also championing sustainability.

The pavilion will take up a surface area of approximately 3,500 square meters and will be over 25 meters tall. Each hull will be painted differently, to appear like three petals in the colours of the Italian flag when viewed from above. It will also feature state of the art technological and scenographic components.

“Reusing the ships once on land was an act that had a profound appeal to us: not only because it is laden with historical value, but because it represents the realisation of a circular architecture from the project’s beginning. The ships that become part of the Pavilion can continue to be used in different ways even after the end of the Expo,” says Carlo Ratti, founding partner of CRA and director of the MIT Senseable City Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Carlo Ratti was also a keynote speaker at India Design ID, ID Symposium


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