Israel Pavilion: Fields of Tomorrow
Israel is a young country with a tradition of three thousand years and an approach projected into the future. In less then seventy years, hard work, research and development have been able to transform a mostly arid land into fertile terrain.
The General Commissioner Elazar Cohen says, “Today Israel is one of the leading countries in the field of science and innovation. Investments and opportunities to develop new technologies earned it the features of a real Start-Up Nation”.
A vertical green field, multimedia installations and the stories of industrious people, cutting-edge technologies and thriving companies that made the desert blossom. At Expo Milano 2015 Israel will present the Fields of Tomorrow: a pavilion dedicated both to the tradition of the land of milk and honey and the ultimate technologies in sustainability, agriculture and nutrition. In Milan, Israel showcases its commitment to share the results of expertise and research for a better future.
Designed by architect David Knafo, realised by Avant Video Systems and built with 100% recyclable materials, the Israel pavilion at Expo Milano 2015 rises right next to Padiglione Italia at the intersection of the main axises Cardo and Decumano. A vertical field mostly planted with wheat, corn and rice welcomes visitors into an immersive visual experience. Inspired by real fields, the spectacular vertical garden doesn’t accomplish just aesthetic functions but it introduces Vertical Planting a revolutionary technology that allows land and water resources to be spared.
The Israel pavilion is promoted by the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs and sponsored by KKL-JNF, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael - Jewish National Fund.
An immersive visual experience
The Israel pavilion at Expo Milano 2015 welcomes visitors into an immersive visual experience that unveils some of the ultimate innovative technologies, showcases sustainable projects and narrates the lives of Israeli people.
In the entrance room actors and performers interact with the public whilst videos are projected along the walls. The first part of the exhibition narrates the story and the lives of three generations of farmers who managed to make the desert bloom. Through memories, images and videos, visitors discover the proactive stubbornness and commitment of Israeli people but also their attitude towards hardship: “difficulties do not create problems but challenges to overtake”.
A section of the exhibition is focused on KKL-JNF’s Forest. With 240 millions planted trees in the last 70 years, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael - Jewish National Fund has been reforesting Israeli landscapes. KKL-JNF gives a new chance to endangered ecosystems by storing seeds, developing seedling nurseries and planting trees. Thanks to the contributions from Israel and worldwide, KKL-JNF develops environmental and social projects all across its land. Israel is the only country in the world that has more trees today than 100 years ago.
Visitors are then guided into a large dark room where light installations project in the sky a virtual field and videos focused on four cutting-edge stories. Biotechnology: the re-creation of the so-called super wheat, the original and not-yet mutated grain of wheat that was cultivated in Biblical times over three thousand years ago. The other innovations on show are 3.0 agriculture which involves applying satellite and digital technology to fields management, an Israeli irrigation project in Africa and the ultimate zoo-technics for a cow-milking factory in Asia.
At the end of the exhibition guests are welcomed to an open-air relax area. A gourmet restaurant offers fresh and healthy pitstops to eat in or to take-away. The menu includes hummus, falafel, salads and traditional recipes that best represent Israeli cuisine. On the upper floor of the main building a panoramic terrace overlooks the Expo site whilst an event area hosts conferences, exhibitions and parties. A green space with trees, benches and a cobbled path runs back along the vertical field.
Comment of David Knafo of Knafo Klimor Architects:
“Along Expo history, architecture of pavilions has been a demonstration of innovation and outstanding aesthetics. The Israel pavilion presents a planning approach in which architecture is a vehicle to promote sustainability, protection of natural resources and dedication to social prosperity for the future of mankind. Fields of Tomorrow is a demonstration of Israel's ability in many domains. Amongst those are the cultivation of rocky land, growth of vegetables in the desert, new methods of irrigation and improvement of seeds quality.
The main elevation of the pavilion is a vertical field composed of modular tiles used for the cultivation of agricultural crops. Each of these tiles contains a computerised drip irrigation system to optimise the plants growth conditions. Wheat, rice and corn, which are the main sources of vegetarian food, will be grown on the vertical field creating a mosaic of textures, smells and colours. The pavilion has been built with the most advanced green technology devices including energy saving and water and air treatment. The whole structure will be recycled at the end of the exposition”.
Tel Aviv and Haifa based studio Knafo Klimor Architects was founded by David Knafo and Tagit Klimor in 1980. The practice operates with a diverse staff including architects, urbanists and designers. The studio philosophy is based on several principles that shape every single project. Knafo and Kilmor say “Architecture is a social discipline. Our commitment has a humanistic approach that takes always in consideration both the cultural identity of the local community and participation in redesigning sustainable environments. Through new interpretations of historical heritage the studio responsibly meshes technology and innovation”.
AVS Advant Video Systems
Founded in 1992, AVS is known worldwide as a first-class creator of advanced multimedia solutions. Driven by a spirit of imagination and a passion for perfection, the agency implemented hundreds of projects. AVS’s team of experts collaborates with clients from the initial conception through the finished product. The agency uses visual solutions, the most cutting-edge technologies and develops unusual creative ideas and designs. AVS also produces innovative visual platforms for the corporate arena, including special events, conferences, large-scale shows, stage productions, exhibitions, visitor centres, permanent installations and promotional applications. www.avscreative.com