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UK pavilion in Milan wins ‘best in show’ Expo prize

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Wolfgang Buttress and BDP’s UK pavilion at the 2015 Milan Expo has won the prestigious ‘best in show’ prize

The Beehive-inspired structure was named winner of the Gold Medal in the architecture and landscape category for buildings under 2,000m² on the last day of the world trade fair.

Cristián Undurraga’s Chilean pavilion meanwhile won second prize and the Czech Republic’s pavilion by Chybik + Kristof Architects and Urban Designers was awarded bronze.

The announcement comes five years after Thomas Heatherwick’s £26 million ‘seed cathedral’ was named top pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo.

Buttress’ UK pavilion resembles a giant beehive at the centre of a wildflower meadow, and is inspired by the crucial role played by bees and pollination in providing the world’s food supply.

UK pavilion at Milan Expo

Visitors enter through an orchard set within a courtyard space enclosed by high gabion walls. Once through the meadow, visitors enter the hive structure made from a lattice of 169,300 pieces of aluminium and steel.

BDP architects, landscape, lighting and sustainability consultants designed the pavilion as part of a team led by the Nottingham-based artist and including contractor Stage One and structural engineer Tristan Simmonds.

Read AJ editor Rory Olcayto’s first reaction to Milan 2015 Expo here.

Project team

Designer/artist Wolfgang Buttress (Nottigham)
Engineer Tristan Simmonds
Architectural support/services BDP (Manchester)
Manufacturer Stage One (York)
Graphics/animation Squint Opera
Physicist and bee expert Martin Bencsik

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