UK Pavilion wins international award at Milan Expo


The UK Pavilion at the Milan Expo has won the International Prize for Best Pavilion Architecture.

The prize is given to the best out of the 54 national pavilions as voted for by the jury from the Italian National Institute of Architecture (INARCH), National Builders' Association (ANCE), National Council of Architects (CNAPPC) and the Association of Engineering (OICE).

Held every five years, the World Expo aims to stimulate conversation around a particular theme. Milan Expo’s theme, Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life, highlights the need for countries to work together to find solutions to feed the world’s growing population.

The UK Pavilion, which illustrates the importance of bees to global food production via a unique giant hive and a reconstruction of a British meadow, had welcomed more than 1 million visitors between launching at the beginning of May and August.

Designed by Nottingham-based artist, Wolfgang Buttress, the work focuses on the vital role of pollination in the global food chain, which Buttress uses as a metaphor for the role of pollinators in all areas of culture and business.

Buttress collaborated with engineer Tristan Simmonds and Manchester-based architectural practice BDP. The Pavilion was constructed and manufactured by York-based company Stage One. Creative agency Squint Opera developed the immersive visitor journey with innovative concepts in graphic design and animation.




Visitors enter through a real meadow created at 'bee-eye level' which includes plants and trees that would grow and yield fruit during the six months of the Expo.

The giant structure recreates a hive - visually and via recorded sound - with LEDs flashing on and off as real bees in a linked hive in Nottingham, the UK, moved and worked.

The judges praised the Pavilion for providing a real experience, not just an iconic object as achieved by other countries.

It is part of a wider campaign connecting industries such as food, life sciences, design, technology and architecture to emphasise that 'Great Ideas are Grown in Britain'.

It is estimated that this theme helped generate more than £180 million for the UK economy  by August 2015. Milan Expo 2015 provided the UK with a further opportunity to showcase Britain as a great place to visit, study and to do business.