Andrea Maffei Architects

Andrea Maffei Architects

Milan, IT


Competition for the Qatar Pavilion at the Milano EXPO 2015

October 2013

“Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life” is the main theme for Milano EXPO 2015, the extraordinary universal event focused on worldwide food accessibility issues, where every country will display its traditions and latest innovations in the food business.

Andrea Maffei Architects entered the Qatar Pavilion competition (2013) designing a spiral exhibition space through which the visitors can discover Qatari food culture, climbing a three-level ramp.

Andrea Maffei Architects characterized the area surrounding the Qatar Pavilion with a wide expanse of sand, evoking the Qatar desert, and a large water tank, which reflects natural light onto the sinuous facade of the building. The main street of the Expo seems to enter into the hall thanks to the intertwining of these two natural elements and continues its route through a 10-meter wide spiral ramp up to the panoramic terrace on the roof.

At the center of the Pavilion there’s a beautiful garden resembling a desert oasis made of palms and other typical Qatari plants. A small bar on the ground floor overlooks the garden and thanks to movable glass walls it can become a prayer space for the Pavilion staff.

The gentle spiral slope of the exhibition space overlooks the courtyard garden in the inner side from curved glass walls, while the outer side is made of a white wall with abstract big holes resembling traditional Islamic decorations. The pierced effect of the facade recalls the idea of the ancient massive fortress with small slits that filter sunlight creating a unique atmosphere inside the exhibition space.

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Status: Competition Entry
Location: Milano, IT
Additional Credits: client - Qatar Ministry of Business and Trade
project - Andrea Maffei
design team - Alessandra De Stefani, Stefano Bergagna / Andrea Maffei Architects s.r.l. Milano
contractor - Grassi & Crespi Impresa di Costruzioni
security coordination - Grassi & Crespi Impresa di Costruzioni
construction program - Grassi & Crespi Impresa di Costruzioni