The exhibition halls, which are designated Cluster Bio-Mediterraneo, Isole, Zone Aride, Cereali e Tuberi, form part of the characteristic elements of Expo Milan 2015. The idea is to provide collective exhibition spaces to include all the countries which have not the facilities to build their own halls.
The central point of each of these clusters forms a multi-functional communal area, offering both space for the exhibitors and their restaurateurs and for the commercial activities and events. The communal approach is a major component of the overall design concept of the cluster. However, there remains sufficient room to give expression to the individual character of each country.
Within this project wood, as a raw material which is central to Rubner‘s production activity, plays a major role. The total of 43 buildings is divided into four separate areas and is constructed from modular structures made from glue-laminated timber.
Wood is not only a raw material with extraordinary properties, it is also an environmentally-friendly, natural, flexible and innovative material, which is suited in every respect to the philosophy and themes of the international exhibition.
The Bio-Mediterraneo or organic trade in the Mediterranean area, which is to be pervaded by the scents and colours of the Mediterranean, houses all those countries, which border on the Mare Nostrum and are also linked by Mediterranean cuisine and diet. This includes Albania, Algeria, Croatia, Egypt, Greece, Lebanon, Libya, Serbia, Malta, Montenegro, Tunisia and San Marino. As well as the exhibition areas for the countries, the area contains 3 technical buildings and 4 kiosks, grouped around a square under a vaulted roof.
In the Zone Aride cluster with the emphasis on nutrition and supply in arid regions, the visitor is greeted by a desert landscape. In this area are represented all the countries, which have to contend with problems of a dry climate and desertification. The area comprises eight modular exhibition buildings and a technical building around a square, which is characterised by cylinders and polycarbonate cables suspended from a steel structure. Among the countries in this cluster are Eritrea, the Palestinian territories, Mauritania and Senegal.
The Island cluster on the other hand is distinguished by its exotic character and includes islands and archipelagos with similar eco-systems, whose diet is based almost exclusively on exploiting the resources of the oceans. These include the Cape Verde Islands, the Maldives, the Island State of Comoro and the countries of the Caribbean. It consists of two exhibition buildings and a technical building, a catering zone, where tastings are held, and a square, roofed with a sunshade made from bamboo.
The Cereali e Tuberi (Cereals and Tubers) cluster is devoted to the theme of bio-diversity. The architecture echoes the typical basin landscape of cereal and tuber-growing regions. In this cluster are represented all the countries of the so-called Third World, where the landscape is shaped by the cultivation of cereal and tubers. Among these are Bolivia, Haiti, Mozambique, Togo, South Africa and Iraq. The cluster consists of seven modular buildings, clad in jute. The central passageway is fitted with sunshades and leads the visitor to a roofed square, where the eye is caught by the imposing stove, which forms part of the adjacent kitchen.