Interviews - Commissariato Italiano Esposizione Universale di Shanghai 2010

Giampaolo Imbrighi
Giampaolo Imbrighi

‘The Italian Pavilion: a balance between architecture, environment and technology’
An interview with the Architect Giampaolo Imbrighi the winner of the Internationl Ideas Competition for the planning of the Italian Pavilion for World Expo 2010.

The idea of the design of the Pavilion for Expo Shanghai came about because of a need to combine Italian ideas on knowing how to live and how to handle usual meeting spaces such as squares, alleys and small districts and using original eco-compatible materials that respect nature and look to the future.
In fact, the very theme ‘Better City, Better Life’ is a challenge.
It‘s been a challenge which we’ve interpreted as the Italian Pavilion which has fundamental characteristics:

  • image - first and foremost we must be seen as a window of Italian excellence as regards the quality of city life;
  • functionality - we must be able to host and help a large number of visitors and even more, astonish them during the six months that EXPO is open; 
  • the search for architectonic quality - we have to refer to the dual concept tradition/innovation of the materials used for  the project which are bioclimatic and eco-compatible.

The spatial atmosphere of the building is brought about by:

  • regionalism: combining the variety of customs and uses of both the Chinese and Italian populations in a single national reality of great tradition;
  • lthe urban shape: the building has been constructed in such a way that it shows roads and  alleys which open onto a square represented by a central court. This is the heart of the Pavilion where you can find integration and exchange with city life.

The need to work towards a city which is liveable and efficient, which in fact, is the theme of Expo 2010, has forced us to integrate not only the architecture, energy-environment, design and the technological aspect but has also made us conscious of using recyclable materials.

The bio-climatic strategies suggested can be seen in the system located in the hall which, from a microclimatic point of view, shows an area of transition formed by an enormous crystal which exploits solar energy for heating during the cold months and cooling during the warm months.
The air conditioning system exploits currents of air cooled by a continuous flow of water. The warm air rises to the top and is naturally extracted, as if it were a chimney. The natural air conditioning isn’t limited to the hall but spreads throughout the whole building, thanks to a system of openings which function as wind galleries.
The thermal heat is controlled by phototropic glass which besides having a screening effect produces electricity. Lastly, the cover has been made in such a way that it protects from overheating in the summer and can collect rainwater.