A Facade of Colorful Curtains

John Hill
13. July 2015
Photo: Marcela Grassi (All photographs courtesy of KriskaDECOR)

At Expo Milano 2015, Spain's Zorrozua y Asociados's colorful box expresses the four geographical and culinary regions of Ecuador in the country's first pavilion at an international exposition.

These regions – Amazon, coastal, mountains and islands – have shaped culinary traditions in the small country and are explored through the pavilion's theme, "Journey to the Center of Life." This theme picks up on Ecuador's location along the equator while also emphasizing the importance of the Galapagos Islands, which were so important to Charles Darwin's pioneering work on evolution. Perhaps coincidentally, Ecuador's pavilion is centrally located adjacent to the main spine of the Expo grounds, right next to the German and Swiss pavilions and close to the United States pavilion.

Photo: Marcela Grassi
Photo: Marcela Grassi

Given the simple form of the 1,200-square-meter box housing exhibition spaces and a restaurant, the exterior skin is particularly important. At first glance the colorful exterior appears to be made from textiles, since it resembles traditional textile handcrafts, specificallly those of the Otavalo region in the Andes. But it is actually made from strands of aluminum: anodized curtains manufactured by KriskaDECOR – the first time the company has clad covered a whole facade with their product.

Photo: Marcela Grassi
Photo: Marcela Grassi

The 800-square-meter installation in yellow, red, lilac, blue and green tones was made possible by the anodizing that, according to KriskaDECOR, "is used to increase the thickness of the natural oxide coat on metallic parts, therefore creating an artificial protective coating that means it can be dyed in a vast array of colors." The 9-to-10-meter-long lengths of chain are secured at the top and the bottom for lateral stability. Lights are integrated into these horizontal supports, giving the Ecuadorian pavilion a strong presence after sunset, when the curtains glow and the colors are even more pronounced.

Photo: Marcela Grassi
Photo: Marcela Grassi

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