We stopped working on the project in 2011 and to our big surprise started again in 2014 after having been invited by the organizers and after a phone call from Carlo Petrini who explained why he had decided to accept presenting Slow Food in a special pavilion, in a very interesting place within our masterplan of the exhibition. We had indeed always seen that place, a triangular piece of land at the very eastern end of the Expo's central boulevard, well-positioned to become one of the main public forums within our masterplan concept.
The pavilion should allow the visitors to discover the significance of agricultural and food biodiversity, to explore the variety of the products that are protagonists of biodiversity, and to become aware of the need of adopting new consumption habits.
Our architectural and curatorial proposal is based on a simple layout on tables which creates an atmosphere of refectory and market. People can watch visual statements and read key texts about different consumption habits and their consequences for our planet, they can meet and discuss with exponents of sustainable agriculture and local food production to learn about alternative approaches, and they can smell and taste the richness of agricultural and food biodiversity.
We designed three shacks, archaic, almost primitive wood structures that define the triangular space of an interior courtyard or market place. These shacks are long and slender buildings remindful of the Lombardian farm house the 'Cascina'. After the Expo they will be dismounted and reassembled as garden sheds in school gardens all over Italy mentored by Slow Food with their initiative 'Orto in condotta' as the principal national scholastic program for alimentary and environmental education.
Herzog & de Meuron, 2014