Engineering Company
International Competitionto Design the Italian PavilionExpo 2015  - Milan

Intern. Competition to Design the Italian Pavilion Expo 2015 - Milan

As part of the international competition to design the Italian Pavilion, as issued by the Expo 2015 body, Opengineering Srl participated in a group bid with architect Paolo Portoghesi and In.Co. Spa for the preliminary designs to create the area known as “Pavilion Italy”, which will be hosting the Italian exhibit in the infrastructure complex on the Expo 2015 exhibition site.
The preliminary design was carried out for an intervention area comprising four lots and relevant open spaces overlooking the Cardo and another lot for the permanent building, Palazzo Italia, an area destined to technology research, and science education and training.
As part of the bid, Opengineering was responsible for the preliminary design of technical installations, focusing its attention on the aspects concerning flexibility, safety and reliability, as well as compliance with the different standards and regulations required of a modern structure.
Considering the theme launched by the competition, “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life,” specific attention was dedicated to the design choices for technological system, so that they would be on the cutting-edge in energy terms.  Due to the need for eco-sustainability and energy efficiency, the choices of installation proposed for Palazzo Italia and the pavilions on the Cardo aimed at using the resources in situ as much and as well as possible.
Specifically, the proposed systems were developed in line with the idea of a synergic fusion between technological systems and architectural features.  If the main architectural idea of the preliminary project submitted by the group is based on the concept of a tree that draws vital lymph from the earth, spreading this to the surrounding environment through its trunk, its branches and leaves, the idea for the design of the systems interprets this concept, making its technological elements available to implement an exchange of energy between the structure and its surrounding environment.  Thus a geothermic system was devised with its own probes for heat exchange with the ground, creating the roots of the tree, while the thermo fluid and electronic systems would run through ducts in the entire supporting structure of the tree, diffusing energy to the surrounding environment.  The result is a perfect, natural fusion of architectural elements, structure and installations.
The technological installations designed were as follows:

  • Electrical and power wiring
  • Internal, external and emergency lighting system
  • Photovoltaic system
  • Sound and data transmission system
  • Control and supervision system
  • Fire detection system
  • Sound alarm system
  • Security system
  • CCTV system
  • Conditioning system
  • Water supply and sanitation
  • Drainage system for waste and rainwater
  • Fire prevention system

The installation solutions designed came from an idea of reducing energy consumption, increasing system efficiency and durability, reducing waste and maintenance interventions to a minimum.  At the same time, control and supervision systems were included for centralised management of systems to make maintenance and servicing easier, while maximising performance and guaranteeing achievable environmental comfort.
All installation design choices were aimed at the use of renewable energy sources, in line with the requirements of Legislative Decree no. 28, 3 March 2011, implementing European Directive 2009/28/EC and due to Directive 2010/31/EU for the promotion of renewable energy sources.
Special attention was placed on energy efficiency and the relevant classification.  To be able to guarantee “class A energy” ratings, cutting-edge technology solutions were devised to reduce energy consumption to condition and heat the buildings.  These solutions take three paths:

  • use of highly insulating and eco-sustainable materials and structures
  • use of high-efficiency technology for machines and components
  • use of renewable energy sources

In fact, high levels of insulation for the shell were proposed, together with high-efficiency glazed sections using high solar control glass with a conductivity of about 1.0 W/m2K, while maintaining excellent light transmission values at the same time.
The technologies used to produce warm and cold fluids to condition the different areas include machines condensed using groundwater (available in a centralised mains network for the whole complex), which guarantee the highest level of efficiency.  What it does is guarantee a source with a practically constant temperature level throughout the season, in summer and winter alike.  In addition to this, a share of the energy production requirements for the complex is to be provided using geothermal energy, obtained from a vertical probe system, installed on the outskirts of Piazza d’Acqua, opposite Palazzo Italia, on the northern side.
The required systems were divided taking into account the intended use of the areas served, guaranteeing for each one reliability, flexibility and reduced energy consumption.  In particular, the high degree of reliability of the equipment designed and the distribution layout of same mean it is possible to reduce malfunctions caused by any equipment breakdown to an absolute minimum.

It was also decided to interpret the basic idea of the competition by creating a technological-educational display in the area housing the utilities systems inside Palazzo Italia.  In this way, even the utilities and systems can contribute to the exhibition spirit behind the whole complex.  Visitors could therefore use the special protected walkways, fitted with information panels and an interactive display, and to see the main types of technology systems used, close up and directly.  The information made available will talk about the basic parameters of the building; for example, the energy produced from renewable sources, fluid temperatures, lighting settings and the values of the main electricity quantities

International Competition to Design the Italian Pavilion Expo 2015 - Milan


Expo 2015 Spa



Architectural Project

Prof. Arch. Paolo Portoghesi, Arch. Michele Achilli, Canella Architetti, Prof. Arch. Giancarlo Priori, Arch. Filippo Ambruosi

Structure Project

In.Co. Spa

Systems Project

Opengineering Srl


Preliminary Design for Thermalfluid, Electrical and Special Systems of the Italia Pavilion

Systems Amount

6.800.000,00 €