The Crust

The Pavilion Zero and the Expo Center designed by Michele De Lucchi are devoted to the earth’s crust, that is our landscape and the goal of all possible safeguards.

Michele De Lucchi, Padiglione Zero e Expo Center, Milano
A project supervised by Davide Rampello and designed by Michele de Lucchi, Pavilion Zero introduces visitors to the Expo Milano 2015 Site.
The themes brought forward here are how much man has produced since arriving on this earth, the transformation of the natural landscapes, and the culture and rituals of consumption. Pavilion Zero takes the visitor on an extraordinary and captivating journey.
Michele De Lucchi, Padiglione Zero e Expo Center, Milano
Michele De Lucchi, Pavilion Zero and Expo Center, Milano

The shape of Pavilion Zero represents a part of the earth’s crust lifted up and placed in a prominent position. It reproduces the outline of the land with mountains, hills and a great central valley. The direct inspiration comes from the shape of the Euganean Hills located between the cities of Padua and Vicenza.

The warm waters emerging from the Albano and Montegrotto Terme are proof of the shallow magma movements that create such a striking natural landscape. The scenography is the main protagonist of this area, accompanying visitors as they explore the Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life theme. Pavilion Zero offers a travel experience into the earth’s crust, via caves that have been rebuilt in almost total darkness, where at the center there is the “valley of civilization”.

Michele De Lucchi, Padiglione Zero e Expo Center, Milano
Michele De Lucchi, Pavilion Zero and Expo Center, Milano

“The crust is a strange thing: normally it is formed by itself through the gradual transformation the matters surface. Thus becoming the shape.

A crust of dirt will form time by time, layer by layer, leaving its mark in the subsequent seams of sedimentation. It does not come in one fell swoop as in Pompeii where the lava has become a crust that has erased everything and for centuries and centuries.

This crust of lava lets us think how important and delicate is the crust on which we walk as it protects us from the red hot core on which our planet rotates.

We have dedicated our progress to go to the moon and explore the universe, but we know little of what we have under our feet. It is a mystery so close, a few hundred metres below us and is just as great as what we see a billion light years away above our heads.

The crust is our landscape, our sphere of life, the goal of all possible safeguards, the most tender and delicate. The crust of the hills, the mountains, the plains, covered in moss that produces forest and vegetation, grass and trees, colors, and fragrant fresh air.

When its there we realize what it’s worth and how much we need it.

Fortunately nature is stronger than men and we can only hope that it takes over and at the end will decide what is right and what is wrong, who is to survive and what will die - unless of course it is the whole human race.

The crust is our environment, our landscape and our stage where we outplay our preferred roles.

It deserves to be in most important museum of the earth, however it does not yet exist and will never exist because there can never be a museum so important, and in any case I hope that will never become a museum, but rather remain always more beautiful and available to everyone.” Michele De Lucchi, 05 April 2014

Pavilion Zero and Expo Center, Expo Milano 2015
Program: pavilion
Architect: Michele De Lucchi
Project team: Angelo Micheli, Marcello Biffi, Agnieszka Drews, Silvia Figini, Francesco Faccin
Structures: Favero & Milan Ingegneria
Curator: Davide Rampello
Area: 17,840 sqm
Completion: 2015

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