City of Bologna Pavilion


The architects taking part in the competition to design the pavilion for the city of Bologna at the Shanghai Expo were asked to come up with a space that represented the highlights and special characteristics of the city. The design put forward did not exactly aim to represent the city, but went one step further, aiming to be the city using augmented reality tools. The intention was not merely to communicate the individual highlights of the city, but to offer a profound sense of its overall quality.

The design envisages an inclusive and welcoming accessible space, where the pavilion’s contents interact with visitors, responding to their behaviour and movements. The aim was to create a space-time bridge which could project visitors, using a personalised avatar, into Bologna itself, allowing them to communicate and even interact emotionally with the city. The enveloping scale of the proposed design, made of tall, curvy screens, and its concept as a place to explore from within match the urban dimension of Bologna and the feelings experienced by the people who visit the city and walk beneath its porticoes. The curvilinear backdrops depict the life of the city itself without any attempt at continuity, with intuitive interfaces allowing interaction and a rapid meeting of minds.


Year: 2009
Partners: Alessia Curella