Genoa-based design studio Dodi Moss has revealed its proposal for the Italian Pavilion of Expo 2020 Dubai, designed in collaboration with artist Edoardo Tresoldi. A response to the theme of ‘Beauty unites people’ the project features an emotional path through a layering of transparent, material and vegetable elements. The third place entry manifests as a set of large architectural elements that evoke the styles of the palaces and courtyards of Italian architecture through antiquity. These elements are expressed as a ghostly subtraction from a volume of transparent, metal mesh. Repeated cuts and volumetric decompositions accompany visitors on an ephemeral, tactile, and visual journey.
“The stratification between transparent, material and vegetable elements -the designers write-codifies some sort of ruin of memory that refers to the continuous synthesis of the past as the deep root of our work today,” explain the designers. “In this sense, the Pavilion proposes not only the Italian point of view, but the awareness of the Italian identity as a stratified entity that has its roots in a millenary cultural history.”
An architectural body, shifting from the given lot, is composed of two complementary identities: a transparent volume, a pure structural element, in which references to architectural archetypes stratify impalpably, and a solid, material pedestal, in which all the functions of the pavilion, which constitutes its opaque imprint, are accommodated.
If on the outside the volume shaped by man is clearly visible, on the inside the architectural lines disappear completely to be covered by vegetation, water, metal mesh and glass, which form an enveloping and suspended environment. Transparent architecture is pure structural substance, expressed through the lightness of the material and the use of Italian architectural archetypes, the pedestal is its opaque imprint. The two elements are complementary and present each other as negative. The pedestal gradually rises to a height, shaping a material shell that jealously guards the garden, making it visible only in part from the outside, and placing itself beneath the majestic transparent metal mesh structures that evoke the environments and vaults of Italian courtyards and palaces.
The fusion between the materic and ethereal elements gives life to the large central spaces-the Prologue and the Square-which, pervaded by water and the garden, key elements of the great tradition of the Italian Gardens, constitute the evocative and functional fulcrum of the project. The Pavilion is a symphonic place where nature and architecture converse-following the original definition of garden-composing a formal and geometric space: it is on transparent architecture that vegetation develops and takes shape. The wire mesh structure determines the reading of the space within a unitary tale in which the two worlds elegantly blend.