Earth Screening

Winning proposal for new Holland “sustainable farming” pavilion at Expo Milano 2015 unveiled by international team including Recchi Egineering and Carlo Ratti Associati.

 

Architecture

New Holland Agriculture have chosen the design by the international team led by Recchi Engineering as the winner of the international competition for their 1,500 square meters pavilion at the World Expo 2015 in Milan.

The architectural proposal, conceived by Carlo Ratti Associati, is called Earth Screening, which features a large agricultural field on its roof, similar to a giant 3D printer thanks to the constant activity of two robotized, self-driving tractors.

Carlo Ratti Associati, Earth Screening, Holland pavilion at the World Expo 2015 in Milan ©CRA

“The idea of Earth Screening is not just about self-driving tractors, which can draw patterns on the roof of the building. It is about how we can sense and respond to the conditions of the soil to a degree that was impossible before. This points to a future where an agricultural field could be considered as a giant base for ‘agricultural printing’, with major advantages foreseen in terms of plant biodiversity and resource preservation - an idea proposed by my colleague, Benedikt Gross”, says Carlo Ratti, partner at Carlo Ratti Associati and director of the MIT Senseable City Lab.

Carlo Ratti Associati, Earth Screening, Holland pavilion at the World Expo 2015 in Milan ©CRA

The two tractors, which will be zero-emission and use energy generated on-site, will constantly move over the roof, “writing” and working the land. “In the same way as self-driving cars are expected to revolutionize urban mobility, advanced robotic technologies are reshaping agriculture, with a new wave of innovations helping us to better respond to local terrain conditions”, Ratti added. “While the roof uses real moving tractors, inside the pavilion we tried to reproduce the working conditions of other key pieces of agricultural equipment – from tractors to combine harvesters – in a physical and digital way,” says Walter Nicolino, architect at Carlo Ratti Associati. Using a sort of “augmented rurality”, made of large screens featuring dynamic footage collected from fields across the world as the backdrop for static agricultural equipment, visitors are taken on a journey that closely mirrors the seasons and cultivation cycles and taught about energy and sustainable farming.

Carlo Ratti Associati, Earth Screening, Holland pavilion at the World Expo 2015 in Milan ©CRA

Emanuela Recchi, chairman of Recchi Engineering, describes Earth Screening as “a pavilion capable of expressing the principles of sustainability, efficiency, and energy production of a modern ‘Sustainable Farm’.” The design concept proposes an innovative and efficient pavilion from the point of view of energy use, allowing visitors to interact with the latest research, products and innovations developed by New Holland. The aim is that the energy for the pavilion – including that for the selfdriving tractors on the roof – will be generated on site. After the Expo, the New Holland pavilion will be dismantled and reconstructed in a second location as an innovative didactic farm, embodying the very idea of recycling and sustainability.


Earth Screening, Holland pavilion at the World Expo 2015 in Milan
Programme: pavilion
Area: 1,500 sqm
Group leader and project manager: Recchi Engineering
Project designer: Carlo Ratti Associati
Feasibility and construction management: NUSSLI
Sustainability consultants: Manens-Tifs Ingegneria
Structural engineering: M. Durbano Ingegnere