Expo Milan 2015 now open with Vanke Pavilion as centrepiece

1 May 2015
Expo Milan 2015 is now open (May 1 to October 31 2015) and Ramboll are delighted to have contributed by providing structural and computational design services for the Vanke Pavilion, a uniquely shaped building that has become a centrepiece of the universal exhibition.

Douglas Pow. Ramboll

Douglas Pow

London Structures Team Director
T: +44 20 7631 5291
Mat McNab. Ramboll

Mat McNab

Operational Excellence Director
T: +44 20 7631 5291

More than 140 countries are participating and over 20 million visitors are expected to explore the Milan Expo theme of ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’. The Vanke Pavilion has an area of 1,000 square metres and is located just north of the main Expo axis, near the Lake Arena and Piazza Italia.

The Pavilion was designed by architects Studio Daniel Libeskind for the Chinese residential real estate giant, Vanke, and Ramboll teams from Italy and the UK teamed together to work on this ambitious structure.

The visually striking pavilion provided many challenges for Ramboll’s Computational Design (RCD) team; the core challenge being to deliver a structural solution that simplified the construction process without compromising the design of the uniquely shaped building. With an almost cork-screw like shape and a façade composed of hundreds of ceramic tiles, the project had the potential to be both high-cost and lengthy. By digitally rationalising the façade surface, the complex pattern has been optimised to enable it to be realised from identically sized tiles.

After the six month long Expo Milan the pavilion will be dismantled and rebuilt in China, again echoing the sustainability theme of the Italian exposition.

The official opening ceremony is scheduled for 12:00 May 1, you can watch the ceremony live here

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Vanke Pavilion, Ramboll. Image: Paul Raftery

Vanke Pavilion

Using our unwavering passion for design, the Vanke Pavilion façade that comprised hundreds of ceramic tiles to create this uniquely shaped building, was engineered using advanced coding techniques to deliver simplified construction of a complex structure.


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Ramboll UK Limited. Registered in England & Wales. Company registration no. 03659970. Registered office: 240 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8NW

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