Luminous Landscape

John Hill, Thomas Geuder
18. January 2016

PROJECT DETAILS

Project

French Pavilion at Expo 2015
Milan, Italy

Architect
XTU (Anouk Legendre + Nicolas Desmazières)
Paris, France

Project Team
Mathias Lukacs (project management), Nicolas Senemaud, William Bianchi, Stefania Maccagnan, Gaëlle Le Borgne

With
Atelien Architecture
Paris, France

Lighting Design
Licht Kunst Licht AG
Bonn, Germany

Manufacturer
iGuzzini illuminatione spa
Recanati, Italy
iGuzzini illuminazione Deutschland GmbH
Planegg, Germany

Products
Front Light
Cestello
Palco
Laser Blade

Client
FranceAgriMer
Montreuil, FR

Exhibition Design
Studio Adeline Rispal
Paris, France

Structural Engineer
Grontmij GmbH
Bremen, Germany

Landscape Architect
Agence Laverne Paysagistes
Rungis, France

Sound Design
Viasonora

Multimedia
Innovision

Kitchen Design
BECP

Graphic Design
Chevalvert

Film Production
Les Films d'Ici

Competition
Januar 2014

Completion
April 2015

Photography
Paolo Carlini
XTU
Studio A.RISPAL
Andrea Bosio  

Photo: XTU/Studio A.RISPAL/Andrea Bosio

The motto of Expo 2015 in Milan, "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life," was translated in the French pavilion into a built landscape designed by Parisian architecture firm XTU, with lighting design by Bonn's Licht Kunst Licht.

Photo: XTU/Studio A.RISPAL/Andrea Bosio

France and the fine art of dining are inseparable. Haute cuisine, the Michelin Guide and Paul Bocuse are a few of the internationally acclaimed things to come out of "the Hexagon." At last year's World Expo in Milan, France used the slogan to defend its image as a country at the forefront of global food culture. Vive la France!  Just as French chefs base their cuisine on the source of their ingredients, the 2014 competition-winning design by Anouk Legendre and Nicolas Desmazières of XTU asserted that the French pavilion should deal with the agricultural landscape and the archetype of the market. "Les Halles," as the famous Parisian markets became known, started in the mid-18th century by Victor Baltard. Inspired by the Crystal Palace at the Great Exhibition in London in 1851, the halls were like pavilions of light, bringing wonder to the experience of food shopping. This archetype led XTU to design a compact pavilion with everything of necessity under one roof, its shape inspired by the hexagonal shape of France's borders.

Photo: XTU/Studio A.RISPAL/Andrea Bosio

Inside, the organic shape of the roof displays the second conceptual idea: a grid-like structure made of glulam (French spruce inside and Larch outside) that creates an overhead topography symbolizing the agricultural landscape of France. The architects wanted to point out that France, despite its progress, is still a traditionally an agricultural nation, a land with great geological diversity. The construction consisted of more than 2,000 individual parts fitted together in a manner so there was no sticky residue after dismantling, and so the materials can be assembled again in the future.

Photo: Paolo Carlini

The roof and exhibits were set by the renowned design office Licht Kunst Licht from Bonn. Their lighting system consisted of three, selectively used levels: path lighting, general lighting and accent lighting. The simulated growing field at the entrance was illuminated by hidden LED strips set into the railing and accented by irregularly arranged light bars. In the exhibition hall, pivoting lights illuminated the objects tucked into the chambers of the wooden structure, while general lighting was provide by virtually invisible uplights. For accent lighting of individual exhibits, the lighting designers selected spotlights by iGuzzini with a high color rendition. In total, the multifaceted lighting experience supported the striking architecture and drew the visitors attention to the dramatic display of the exhibits within the organic roofscape.

Photo: XTU/Studio A.RISPAL/Andrea Bosio
Drawing: XTU architects
Site plan (Drawing: XTU architects)
Floor plans (Drawing: XTU architects)

Published originally as "Leuchtende Landschaft" on German-Architects. 

PROJECT DETAILS

Project

French Pavilion at Expo 2015
Milan, Italy

Architect
XTU (Anouk Legendre + Nicolas Desmazières)
Paris, France

Project Team
Mathias Lukacs (project management), Nicolas Senemaud, William Bianchi, Stefania Maccagnan, Gaëlle Le Borgne

With
Atelien Architecture
Paris, France

Lighting Design
Licht Kunst Licht AG
Bonn, Germany

Manufacturer
iGuzzini illuminatione spa
Recanati, Italy
iGuzzini illuminazione Deutschland GmbH
Planegg, Germany

Products
Front Light
Cestello
Palco
Laser Blade

Client
FranceAgriMer
Montreuil, FR

Exhibition Design
Studio Adeline Rispal
Paris, France

Structural Engineer
Grontmij GmbH
Bremen, Germany

Landscape Architect
Agence Laverne Paysagistes
Rungis, France

Sound Design
Viasonora

Multimedia
Innovision

Kitchen Design
BECP

Graphic Design
Chevalvert

Film Production
Les Films d'Ici

Competition
Januar 2014

Completion
April 2015

Photography
Paolo Carlini
XTU
Studio A.RISPAL
Andrea Bosio  

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