There is no way you can see it all at the Expo in Milan. 148 countries are taking part in this giant fair this year, additionally to the theme pavilions like “Sea life” and “Rice”, all spread over the distance of a small town.
We've eaten dumplings from Nepal, have taken part in a very weird Japanese performance and looked at so much amazing architecture that I had to go through my pictures to even remember what I wanted to show you.
As always, my focus was on the pavilion's architecture and design, I guess the different stagings and performances would have been worth a separate post but,... I had to start somewhere, right?
how long should I go, you may ask?
I spent two brilliant days there and would advise you to go for two days as well if you get the chance.
One would have been stressful and three just exhausting for me.
To leave you less overwhelmed, I've prepared a top five list of pavilions and three more, which are hyped but maybe not worth the queue.
Let's start with my absolute favourite. This pavilion is so beautiful, I went there twice. White rounded shapes inclose small gardens in between beautiful open spaces. The plants in the garden each show one season in Bahrain. Make sure to look at the amazing details, like the white on white signage, the lamps and the golden doors.
The architecture is unspectacular, but their concept is brilliant:
They have filled up a tower with different produce (apples, salt, water, coffee). The visitors are allowed to take as much as they want from each produce, but it's not gonna be refilled, which means that there might not be enough for everyone. Working down from the top, the floor of the tower is moved down once a month to reach the next level (this makes sure that the tower isn't empty at half time) and in the first month the level was empty after two weeks.
I love how our consumption is displayed in this very simple and beautiful concept, which actually left me thinking and sharing the apple with my friends.
3. Holy See
If someone can build a chapel, including a Last Supper setting, it's these guys.
Beautiful three dimensional lettering opens up the facade visually and a massive yellow curtain set in front of the wall with a distance opens and closes the building at the same time.
The interior is as quiet as one expects from a chapel and the digital last supper so subtle and beautiful that many visitors probably won't even realize what is shown here.
It was 36°C, I was thirsty and hot.
Then I entered Austria's pavilion. They set up a beautiful forest with glowing letters stating “Breathe” and “eat” when walking closer to the pavilion.
Water was sprayed in the air, leaving fog over the tiny rivers flowing through the pavilion. I was in heaven.
Instead of building a pavilion, Holland has created the cutest carnival on their area. No walls, you can walk in from all sides and simply have great street food. There is a mirror cabinet with some information about how Holland is handling produce, but to be honest – who reads stuff in a mirror cabinet? I was absolutely focused on not running against a wall.
I loved how “Holland” this area was. Welcoming, friendly and open minded. Who places a Ferris wheel at their Expo Stand is my friend immediately.
Some more Pavilions I liked were:
Nepal for it's simplicity
Japan for funky performances
Brazil for accepting that people just want to have fun
Korea for amazing installations
the Slow Food Pavilion for it's “unexcited” architecture
Great Britain for a light installation symbolizing a bee hive
Three pavilions you can skip (or maybe I just didn't get it?)
It might look fancy from the outside, but I didn't really get what was going on in the German Pavilion. First a ten-minute introduction, then a science museum-like installation and then the weirdest performance I've ever seen including two guys rapping about bees. Go there drunk and you'll love it.
I liked the roof. Inside there is an exhibition, which is definitely not worth the queue.
3. United Arab Emirates UAE
The architecture is brilliant, I can't say anything against that. There is a sparkling golden cylinder in the middle, surrounded by dune-like walls.
But after queuing for 45min I felt pushed through the exhibition with my group and lead to a 10min performance, which ended with a rapping child, we were asked to sing with. In Italian. Seriously.
So what did you think about the Expo in Milan?
Let me know if you find any cool pavilions, that I might have missed!
How to get there:
take the Metro to RHO Fiera.
Check this link for instructions
there are all kinds of different tickets.
The regular day pass is 39€