One week before the start of the Expo Milano 2015, the directors of the German Pavilion “Fields of Ideas” presented to italian and german media representatives the architecture and exhibition as well as its cultural programme. “This is a final rehearsal of what we have been working towards, for four years. All those involved are proudly presenting the results of their work - said Dietmar Schmitz, Commissioner General of the German Pavilion of the ministry responsible for this, the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) at the press conference -. In the German Pavilion we are showing the many innovations and immense commitment of our country, in politics and research, in civilian society and our strong economy as well as in the cultural and creative scene”. In its six areas, the “Fields of Ideas” pavilion will present more than 100 thematic stations on the theme of the world exhibition.

German Pavilion Expo Milano 2015 © B. Handke
German Pavilion Expo Milano 2015 © B. Handke

The “Fields of Ideas” present a lively, fertile landscape full of ideas. In the planning it was particularly important to the BMWi, which is responsible for the pavilion, that the concept should have a continuous theme which unites the architecture and the exhibition but is also continued in the cultural programme and the catering concept. “We wanted to create a pavilion with a homogenous and harmonious presentation: an open, sympathetic and humorous image of Germany should be reflected in all areas” said Peter Redlin, Creative Director at Milla und Partner, describing the challenge which he and his colleagues faced. “I think we succeeded very well in this: the pavilion has become a multi-faceted complete project, a landscape of ideas” sayd Lennart Wiechell, Architectural Director and Managing Partner of Schmidhuber, complementing his colleague. Already in its architectural implementation for which the company Nüssli is responsible, the pavilion conveys a clear stance on resource efficient building. Thanks to modern steel and membrane construction, the temporary building offers particularly good possibilities with an extremely light construction and a reduction of materials used. A closed exterior wall was consciously not chosen and the indoor climate is naturally regulated in an energy neutral way.


In the building of the pavilion 185 employees used 800 tons of steel, 2.500 square metres of wood and an equal number of square metres of membranes. In addition, 700 lamellae were incorporated in the exhibition which separate the various themed areas. If these were joined to one another it would correspond to a length of four kilometres.
When walking across the landscape level, the outdoor area which can be freely accessed, it is the various coloured shades of the wood which are first noticeable. These reflect the appearance of the typical German field and meadow landscape. This open area is ideal for walking along, relaxing and resting. From here visitors also have a view of the Expo grounds and, on a clear day, even as far as the Alps. This area also includes the stations of the German federal states with their special regional characteristics and culinary specialities.
A key design element of the German Pavilion is the “idea seedlings”, stylised plants which sprout up out of the exhibition and form a shade-giving canopy over the pavilion. Upon closer examination these leaves are revealed as incorporating an innovative photovoltaic technology. “The German Pavilion is the first big international architectural project in which these innovative products have been used” reported Lennart Wiechell on the project. The architect enthuses about the innovative material: “In contrast to standard solar modules, we, the architects of the German Pavilion, were able to design the flexible, film-integrated organic photovoltaic modules including their visual appearance according to our own ideas and integrate this in the pavilion’s overall design". The electricity which is generated during the day is stored in an innovative storage system at the base of the five Idea Seedlings and used to power a high performance LED light ring which illuminates the Solar Trees from below during the night.

Grohe, as a partner of Germany Pavilion “Fields of Ideas”, has been chosen  for their own bathrooms that, during the World Expo, will be equipped with systems for rinsing, electronic faucets to save water, bathroom accessories and shower systems.


Partners: Duravit, Egger, Equitone, Erco, Grohe, Hager, iGuzzini, Insta, Panasonic