Unveiling the Italian Pavilion at Expo 2020

The journey of the Italian Pavilion toward the 2020 World Fair begins with three boats, symbol of a shared Mediterranean heritage, that will arrive in Dubai and will be converted into the backbone of the pavilion for the duration of the event.

The pavilion is an exploration into recycling, circularity and reconfigurable architecture. Just like the boats become part of the structure, other sustainable materials – from orange peels and coffee grounds to mushrooms and recycled plastic reclaimed from the ocean – will are reused as construction elements.


At its core, the project explores the ways in which “beauty connects people” – the theme of Italy’s participation in next year’s world fair – telling the story of a journey into the country’s heritage, which has inspired and nourished interactions, ingenuity and art.



A project by CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati and Italo Rota Building Office, with matteogatto&associati

and F&M Ingegneria


"Architecture is a process and needs to promote healthy public debate. That is why we are all great supporters of the idea of "critical design" developed by Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby."

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“We liked the idea of a pavilion that would continuously mutate into different forms. We pursued a kind of architecture that could be reconfigured both in the long term – because of its circularity – and in the short term – thanks to digital technologies.”

Carlo Ratti

“The pavilion is circular in nature. Nothing goes to waste; instead, we reclaim it and reimagine its purpose. The sea will figuratively enter the structure through one of its living organisms, seaweeds, which will be used to produce energy and food.”

Italo Rota



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