menu

Photoactive Concrete Pavilion To Scrub Smog From Milan’s Air

Design

The Italian Pavilion will act like a giant sponge that absorbs pollution and cleans up the city’s air.

Vashti Hallissey
  • 20 june 2014

We’ve heard of biodegradable buildings, a building that blends into the sky and even ones that fly but what about a one that soaks up smog? At next year’s Milan Expo you can expect to see just that in the form of a 13,000 square-meter building that will act as an air purifier for the city.

Milan Expo 2015 is based on the theme of ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’ and, as the first prize winner, the Italian Pavilion is being constructed especially for the event. It will play an important role in the exposition’s aim to educate people on the planet’s precious resources and the dwindling food supply.

Designed by Milan-based architects Nemesi & Partners, the Italian Pavilion will be made with photocatalytic concrete which absorbs air pollutants and turns them into inert salts. Taking its sustainability even further, the building’s mortar will be made of 80% recycled materials and it will also feature a canopy of solar panels to generate power during the day.

The building not only tackles nitric and nitrogen oxides in the same way as a forest, it’s shaped like one too. Visitors will be invited to walk from the ground-level roots to the upper foliage on the fourth floor of the building. The Expo’s 20 million expected visitors will have the chance to journey through the pavilion’s exhibition, taking in stunning views of the city from its branches.

Nemesi & Partners worked with engineers Proger and BMS Progetti as well as Sapienza University of Rome professor Livio de Santoli to create this ambitious design. The collaboration is reflected by the building’s stunning credentials from both an aesthetic and a scientific point of view.

The Italian Pavilion is the latest in a series of exciting initiatives in sustainable architecture that we’ve been following at PSFK. These include an energy-saving skyscraper that controls the climate within, an underground park lit by sunlight and swappable capsule homes. These all point towards a future in which, instead of damaging their surroundings and wasting resources, buildings can be zero impact and even benefit the environment.

The Italian Pavilion is set to be a permanent fixture in Milan, after the Expo it will be the city’s center for technological innovation.

You can find out more about the future of nature-inspired architecture here.

The Italian Pavilion

[h/t] Co.Exist

Design
Trending

Volvo's Self-Driving Trucks Will Soon Be Put To Work In An Underground Mine

Automotive
Automotive Yesterday

Toyota Is Using Sewage To Power Its New Electric Car

A new hydrogen-fueled vehicle is driven by what we flush away

Culture Yesterday

Catch A Concert On This Small Floating Island

A man-made archipelago in Italy is hosting music and art performances

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Innovation Debrief: Boston

See All
Design & Architecture Yesterday

DIY Kit Lets You Build Your Own Wooden Bike, Boat Or Caravan

Woodenwidget says its detailed guides are suitable for beginners and experienced woodworkers alike

Design Yesterday

Crash-Friendly Drone Made From LEGOs Is Completely Rebuildable

The clever device offers games, education and the uniquely rewarding experience of destroying your high-flying airship

Fitness / Sport Yesterday

Free Sneakers Given Out To Motivated Marathon Runners

Strava will give the shoes to athletes who run the second half of their race faster than the first

Culture Yesterday

Someone Invented A Robot Just To Serve Trays Of Beef Jerky

Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz, in partnership with Chef's Cut Real Jerky, creates an automated snack delivery system

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed september 28, 2016

Energy Expert: How American Consumers Are Taking Control Of Their Power Use

Jennifer Tuohy, green tech expert at The Home Depot, discusses green home technologies and developments for renewable technologies in US homes

PSFK Labs Yesterday

The 10 Steps To Discover, Hire, Develop Your Next Leader

PSFK's Future of Work report outlines key steps in the employee development path to empower next-gen leaders

Millennials Yesterday

Why A Social Networking Site Decided To Rebrand

Meetup, a platform that connects like-minded individuals, has taken steps to stay relevant amongst millennials

Work Yesterday

Editorial Roundtable: The People-First Workplace Should Borrow From Tradition

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary, AltSchool and thinkPARALLAX underline the old-fashioned ideas that deserve a place in the Future of Work

Op-Ed Yesterday

Digital Design Expert: Mobile First Is Dead, Think Mobile Native

Brian Cooper, chief creative officer of OLIVER Group UK, explains how some brands are still playing catch-up to new technology

Fashion Yesterday

Handbags Crafted From An Old NFL Stadium

People for Urban Progress is an up-cycling program that tackles the waste problem of big demolitions

Work Yesterday

Tech Job Site Created Just For Those Who Are Older Than 30

A new occupational job board presents a creative solution to age discrimination in the tech world

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

Europe Yesterday

Architect Turns A Giant Smile Into A Public Exhibition

The structure offers visitors a new perspective of London and creates an immersive environment that integrates structure, surface, space and light

Children Yesterday

Norwegian Kids Are Using Their Phones To Log Unsafe Street Conditions

Travel Agent is an app that gamifies the reporting of hazardous conditions to improve the safety of children's commute to school

Travel Yesterday

Google Wants To Help You Plan Your Next Trip

A new app curates vacation itineraries and organizes reservation emails to take the work out of planning a getaway

No search results found.