breathe.austria - austrian pavilion expo milan 2015 - concept

sneak preview - first impressions

Air quality counts among Austria’s most important features. It ranks near the top of international comparison charts and may even be considered identification potential for the country. The vast expanses of the earth are united by air, climate, and atmosphere. These qualities provide nourishment and serve as information carrier, energy producer, and resource. The contribution breathe thus sets out to thematically probe the natural and technical competency of Austria – as well as future explorative issues in dealing with the globally vital nourishment of air and climate.

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austrian pavilion expo milan 2015
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The Pavilion

“When you take a breath, you touch a part of the planet, with the inside of your body” (Tor Norretranders)

The Austrian Pavilion in Milan unites architecture and the environment to create an integral contribution. Planting a grove of trees to create 560 m2 of forest, breathe takes a exemplary approach – multifaceted and sensory in equal measure – to focusing on our relationship with the environment and climate. The vegetation of the tree grove features an overall leaf surface area or evaporation surface of ca. 43,200 m2 and thus generates 62.5 kg of fresh air each hour, meeting the needs of 1,800 people – essentially making it a photosynthesis collector that contributes to global oxygen production. This effect is technically supported in the pavilion by evaporative cooling, but without air treatment systems. This allows the sensory climate of a dense forest in Austria to be reconstructed using comparatively natural measures based on the cooling effect of the plants’ evapotranspiration. The achieved result clearly differs from the local air and climate in Milan and is thus perceptible on diverse sensory levels.

breathe is a natural cycle whose ecological performance takes center stage. This patch of forest – 100-percent blanketed in trees – represents an exemplary contribution to urban approaches. Indeed, an integral use of landscape can supply urban life-forms with plenty of oxygen and cooling air. This in turn makes reference to Austria’s sustainable reforestation policy or, conversely, to the global decrease in tree population so vital to life. It is a fundus of form for the comprehensive leitmotif “Air and Climate in the 21st Century,” but also, in terms of content, a space of intervention and experimentation with artistic and scientific work. Visitors at the Austrian Pavilion – their senses stimulated – embark upon a sensory, scientific, and artistic journey of discovery where air provides essential nourishment. Space, experience, and exhibition merge. During the six-month exhibition period, air becomes tangible and experienceable as public domain, fostering space for networking where knowledge is generated and shared.


terrain : landscape urbanism BDA, Graz – Univ.Prof. Klaus K. Loenhart
in cooperation with
Agency in Biosphere, Graz – Markus Jeschaunig
Hohensinn Architektur, Graz – Karlheinz Boiger
TU Graz Institute for Architecture and Landscape / LandLab – Andreas Goritschnig und Bernhard König
Lendlabor, Graz – Anna Resch und Lisa Maria Enzenhofer

Climate engineering: Transsolar Energietechnik, München – Dr. Wolfgang Kessling (Donau University Krems)
Vegetation engineering: Dr. Bernhard Scharf, Wien (BOKU Institute of Soil Bioengineering and Landscape Construction /IBLB)
Structural design: Engelsmann Peters Beratende Ingenieure, Graz / Stuttgart
Univ.Prof. Stefan Peters (TU Graz – Institut für Tragwerksentwurf)
Auditive design: Büro Auinger, Sam Auinger

Support Detailing and Tender: DnD Anna Detzlhofer & Sabine Dessovic

Local Support Milan: Dontstop Architettura Michele Brunello 

YEAR:  2014 – 15

SITE:  Milan, Italy
CLIENT: EXPO 2015 Austria
Austrian Pavilion EXPO Milan 2015
DESIGN: team.breathe.austria

Explore Airship BREATHE.AUSTRIA  here