“Expo Gate: Milan's Gateway to the Expo” is the slogan you can find on the Expo 2015 webpage describing the exhibition's entryway.
The structure is located in Via Beltrami, in the city center of Milan, in front of the Castello Sforzesco. It connects the castle, which was the epicenter of the 1906 Universal Exhibition, and Via Dante, the strategic axis displaying the flags of all 130 countries participating in Expo 2015. The gate's location symbolizes the connection between the city and the universal exhibition, making reference to Milan's role as the "gateway between Italy and the rest of the world."
The gate's purpose is to introduce the audience to Expo, while providing guidance for the entire event. It was designed by Scandurra Studio and it is shaped to look like a transparent and modular building, lightweight in form but also in terms of its environmental impact.
Expo Gate opened in May 2014 and serves as a stage on which the city can interpret Expo Milano 2015's theme, "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life." What exactly does that mean? It means that Expo Gate is a place where citizens of the city and newcomers can meet, exchange ideas, and share experiences. In a symbolical way, it represents “a gateway to the world, as well as to the atmosphere and content of the universal exposition one year after its inauguration."
Expo Gate is open daily from 10 am to 8 pm. It is an information and ticket point, where you can gather information about Expo and buy tickets in advance, but it also hosts its own program of events.
In April, Expo Gate will host the so-called “Food Project,” focusing on a combination of food and design in honor of Design Week and the International Furniture Fair (Salone del Mobile). The event will include exhibitions of eco-sustainable, everyday objects made out of food, prototypes that present innovation in cooking methods, storage, and eating habits. It will also host projects related to food culture, learning labs, presentations, and workshops open to the public.
Coming up in June at Expo Gate, "La Bella Italia" will present a view of contemporary society using food and music. The event will be an occasion to taste, relish food, and talk about a subject Italians understand so well - the art of food.
Despite its important role for Expo Milano 2015, Expo Gate is a controversial structure for residents of Milan. Unlike the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Atomium in Brussels or the Space Needle in Seattle, all of which are landmarks in former Universal Exhibitions host cities, the symbol of Expo 2015 doesn’t seem to have the same architectural impact.
What is your opinion of Expo Gate's architectural design? Does it have the same architectural impact as previous Expo architecture?
Credits: Images by Alexandra Serbana. Data linked to sources.