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Milan Expo 2015: Azerbaijan

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  • Lighting Designer: Marco Rocca Agency

Year Completed



Milan Expo 2015

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Project Description

Biosphere 1

The visitor is accompanied to the center of Azerbaijan, a geographical, historical and cultural crossroads. By means of a large video display the visitor immediately comes into contact with the country’s most meaningful historical and natural panoramas. At ground level lighting installation reproduces the profile of Azerbaijan. Using LED video equipment it is possible to project onto this shape content linked to the geography and natural characteristics of the country. In the upper part of the sphere a light sculpture reproduces the silhouette of an eagle, recalling the shape of the country, resembling an eagle in flight from west to east, and emphasizes the country’s drive and tension when looking towards the future.

Biosphere 2

This biosphere is dedicated to biodiversity. The central installation is the reproduction of a large pomegranate tree –the pomegranate being the national fruit–, representing Azerbaijan’s abundance and variety. Diversity is understood in terms of multiformity, abundance and richness, from both natural and anthropological points of view. Indeed, within the sphere a bank of screens will display video portraits of Azerbaijani people. These “Portraits of Azerbaijan” show a cross section of the country, revealing the deep-seated energy that nourishes it, showing Azerbaijani men and women as an indispensable source of sustainable growth. In the upper part of the sphere, within the foliage of the large pomegranate tree, 3D viewers will allow the visitor to explore iconic symbols of the country inside the tree, thus coming into contact with the lifeblood of Azerbaijan.

Biosphere 3

An upturned tree stands as a metaphor for the relationship between innovation and tradition in Azerbaijan. The roots look upwards and take inspiration from the sky to feed a vision of the future and to give nourishment to the fruits of innovation. In the upper part of the biosphere the roots of the trees thus describe the strong traditions that sustain the country’s vision of the future. Among these roots are exhibited the Treasures of Azerbaijan, the works of traditional craftsmanship, history and culture. The lower part of the sphere, on the other hand, encloses the visitor in the foliage of the upturned tree. The spirit of renewal that today animates Azerbaijan is shown on three screens where the visitor can choose itineraries –air, water and land– through which to explore Baku, the capital and symbol par excellence of the country’s innovation.

Ground floor

The ground floor welcomes the visitor and draws him or her to the history, cultural heritage and natural beauty of the country. On the ground floor the visitor will also find a café that links the internal and external area of the pavilion, looking out onto a small square that provides access. In the café visitors can taste dishes prepared with raw materials sourced from natural and biodynamic farms in Azerbaijan. A juice bar, especially fitted out for the occasion, will offer the chance to taste famous Azeri juices, first and foremost traditional pomegranate juice.

Mirroring Baku

The first installation that the visitor encounters on entering the pavilion is Mirroring Baku: this is a wooden construction, the size of a man or woman, with an interactive projection system connected to an installation located in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. The intention is to connect visitors to the pavilion with citizens of Baku in real time.


On the large wall that welcomes visitors on the ground floor is depicted an interactive musical staff made out of wood, recalling the importance of Azerbaijani music, which today constitutes UNESCO spiritual heritage. This staff accompanies the visitor throughout the pavilion: notes made of brass and tens of video screens form “the Symphony of Azerbaijan” together with a flow of significant images and information about the country. Azerbaijan is described by means of its key points: its geography, nature, unique and precious biodiversity, thousand year history, multifaceted culture and values. All this contributes towards placing an emphasis on the value of respecting one’s own tradition and other cultures and religions, and attention to cultural and natural heritage.

First Floor

The first floor is studded with colorful flowerbeds, equipped with video screens and sound showers, to ensure an immersive experience in the colors and landscapes of Azerbaijan.This level is dedicated to the color of Azerbaijan, expressed through its many different landscapes, which make it one of the 25 hotspots of global biodiversity. In addition to panoramas, the screens show the growth of the nation through the highest quality projects in the fields of technology, agriculture and art.

Second Floor

The second floor is dedicated to the tastes of Azerbaijan: the world of Azerbaijani foods, their variety, their GMO-free production, recipes and healthy properties, and the strategies employed to conserve this heritage for the future. This floor is totally experience-based, with interactive tables and augmented reality installations. Tasting events will be organized on this floor during the evenings. One day of the week this floor will be completely set aside for children, with entertainment and installations dedicated to them.

Third Floor Terrace

The restaurant will be located on this floor: a terrace overlooking the EXPO, enhanced by a hanging garden, to which access can be gained directly from the ground floor by two elevators. The restaurant will offer fusion dishes created through a collaboration between Italian and Azerbaijani chefs. Themed evenings will be organized, featuring jazz and traditional Azerbaijani music, Azerbaijani performances and jam sessions with Italian artists. During the afternoon the restaurant will be transformed into a typical Azerbaijani Tea House. It will be possible to taste an excellent cup of tea accompanied by cakes and dried fruit, as is traditional.

- via Simmetrico Network
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