The UK’s striking pollinator-inspired Pavilion at Milan Expo, designed and built by British expertise, has been awarded the World Expo organising committee’s highest design accolade. The Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) gold award for architecture and landscape was presented to UK Commissioner General Hannah Corbett, on the final day of the five-yearly World Expo, this year held in Milan.
The UK Pavilion was designed by Nottingham artist Wolfgang Buttress and built by Stage One, York-based construction specialists, Manchester-based architects BDP and structural engineer Tristan Simmonds. It featured a huge aluminium beehive illuminated by nearly 1,000 lights relaying information transmitted from a real beehive, and was inspired by Nottingham Trent University research into the health of the beehive.
During the six-month run of the World Expo, the UK Pavilion attracted more than 3.3 million visitors, making it a popular British attraction second only in visitor numbers to the British Museum over a comparable timeframe.
The UK Pavilion has won a host of other design awards, including Blueprint’s award for Best Public Use Project with Public Funding and an international jury prize from the Italian National Association of Architects. It is the second time in a row that the UK has won a gold medal at a World Expo. In 2010, in Shanghai, it was won by the UK Pavilion ‘Seed Cathedral’ designed by Thomas Heatherwick.
Accepting the award on behalf of UK Government and its partners, Hannah Corbett, Commissioner General said: