UK Pavilion wins ‘best in show’ prize at Milan Expo 2015

Pavilion secures key competition objective – and with Shanghai completes double for MRC

32 Pavilion Best in show
Image courtesy of UKTI © Crown Copyright

The success of the UK Pavilion in winning the Gold Medal at the Milan Expo achieves the objective set out by MRC in the competition brief for the Pavilion’s design – to follow and equal the success of Thomas Heathwick’s seed cathedral at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.

This ‘double’ means that both MRC competitions secured designs, which delivered the leading award at the Expo. We are delighted to congratulate Wolfgang Buttress and BDP on their success.

Pavilion designer Wolfgang Buttress said of the news:

‘I am very happy and honoured to have won this prestigious award: it is a fitting testament and acknowledgement of the dedication and professionalism of the whole of the team. If the project has raised awareness of the current plight of the bee then the effort has been worth it.’

In response to the Expo’s theme of ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’, the competition-winning pavilion design resembled a giant beehive at the centre of a wildflower meadow, inspired by the crucial role played by bees and pollination in providing the world’s food supply. The ‘virtual hive’ glowed and pulsated according to signals from a real bee hive based in the UK. The hive structure was made from a lattice of 169,300 pieces of aluminium and steel.

The pavilion has received nine awards in total, including the Blueprint Award for ‘Best Public Use Project with Public Funding’, the Italian Association of Architects award for ‘Best Pavilion Architecture’, and EXHIBITOR’s award for ‘Best Exhibit’.

A non-commercial Universal Exposition with over 140 participating countries, the Milan Expo ran over six months and welcomed 21.5 million visitors. The UK Pavilion received 3.3 million visitors.