Archaeologies of Green, the pavilion of the Kingdom of Bahrain, at the Expo Milano 2015 is a poetic interpretation of the cultural agrarian heritage of the country, which stems from the ancient civilization of Dilmun.
With ten distinctive fruit gardens, containing trees that will be fruit–bearing at different moments throughout the six-month duration of the exhibition, the pavilion also features archaeological artifacts that celebrate the millennia long tradition of agriculture and perpetuate the many myths of Bahrain as the location of the Garden of Eden and the land of the million palm trees.The winning design for the pavilion designed by Studio Anne Holtrop in collaboration with landscape architect Anouk Vogel, was selected amongst four other design proposal that were presented as part of an invited competition.
The pavilion is conceived as a succession of walled fruit gardens, intersected by roofed exhibition spaces, and a café.
The forms are loosely inspired by those found in the archaeological ruins of the temple of Barbar in Bahrain, the temple built for Enki, the god of sweet water, that consequently permitted the development of a lush vegetation and agriculture in an otherwise arid region. The resulting plan of the pavilion is an abstract geometric drawing, of arcs and straight lines that creates a richness of spatial experiences within the defined boundaries of the walled perimeter.
The architecture and landscape are conceived as one interconnected entity that forms a whole, evoking the typical suburban landscapes of Bahrain.
Made of 350 different pieces of white prefabricated concrete that follow the geometry of the drawing, the pavilion has been designed from its onset to be dismantled and transported to Bahrain. The concrete elements are assembled to one another through dry-joints, stacked one on top of the other, and finished with brass fittings.
At the end of the Expo, the elements will be dismantled, and shipped to Bahrain where they will be reassembled to serve as a botanical garden displaying the agrarian heritage of the country..