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At the centre of a score of elaborate, expensive and often shallow pavilions at the Expo 2015 in Milan, the 2.400 m2 Dutch pavilion is like a chirpy, fresh breeze. A park-like festival, historically first of its kind on the World Expo platform. It is a statement on sharing, togetherness, creativity and openness, that is very well understood and appreciated by all visitors, professionals and architects alike.

Built for a fraction of all its neighbours’ budget, the pavilion proves day in day out that Expo pavilions can be successful, sparkling and communicative – following a non-typical process and architectural vision. With a vibe that lingers in the visitors’ heart and mind long after the Expo visit.

TOTEMS | Communication & Architecture is responsible for concept and design of the pavilion, now for the fourth time. It is developed under the central theme Share, Grow, Live and represents the Dutch culture and its food-industry from research, production to distribution and consumption. Share, Grow, Live. We have in our Delta country a decentralized democratic society, where the life with water always led to the need to be creative, to cooperate and share in order to find solutions. It became our nature, the Dutch way. It is exactly this character that seemed relevant to present to the world, because the global challenges that mankind is facing around the food theme can only be met by creativity, global sharing of knowhow, and global cooperation. We need to work together on this.

The Dutch pavilion is a statement of this togetherness; an invitation to the world with its very open and delightful presence – to share, to talk about things and to enjoy. The pavilion is a reflection of the festivals that have become part of our Dutch culture over the last decades, where visitors move about freely and the experience is on a very individual level. These festivals are very popular in our country – while on the World Expo platform, the festival format of the Dutch pavilion makes its world premiere.

The pavilion architecture quotes the fair typology happily and exuberantly, while parallel, the Dutch food story is presented. Research initiatives, dozens of solutions by Dutch industry, science and government, from an individual to a global scale – told in a widely varying way to the visitors. The Dutch pavilion communicates in its own special way – it offers an experience of togetherness, creativity and joy with a vibe that lingers in the visitors mind long after the Expo visit.

Design: TOTEMS | Communication & Architecture

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