Barilla Pavilion Competition - Parma, Italy


We imagined the new Barilla Pavillion as a multi-level stage where agriculture and visitors are the main character, constantly interacting with each other in a continuous and lively play.
Our concept is inspired by both nature and the industrial process of the Barilla production. By elevating the surrounding fields into different stacked planes we created a vertical pathway of vast open-air cultivated fields, sporadically interrupted by greenhouses allowing for sensitive cultivation, as well as by the assembly, exhibition and training areas.The resulting architecture differentiates itself from the surrounding industrial complex and opens up the box to show what’s hidden behind the opaque solid walls of factory production. In this way we expose the relationship between man, machines and the raw products.

The pavilion acts as a backdrop to display the world of Barilla, from seeding to harvest and then to assembling different products and finally packaging. Through horizontal and vertical visual connections the visitors experience different cultivation and crops simultaneously. Working primarily in section we encouraged a three-dimensional experience, allowing each elevated field to become an experience on its own while at the same time remaining contiguous and connected to each other. As such, our intervention required an extremely light system of assembly, a sequence of vertically stacked thin slabs, which tightly double and triple to allow for difference crops and cultivation, requiring different soil depths, to freely grow.

The circulation path takes the visitor on a visual journey parallel to the surrounding horizon. The amenities and general indoor spaces are distributed such that the visitor is continuously encountering the different horizons surrounding the site. The imprint left on the ground in the shadow of the raised fields, becomes a natural vault and serves as a space to display art. With little required natural light it is an ideal environment for the Barilla art collection. Working with an non-hierarchical array of vertically arranged planes, our pavilion offers a foundation for future developments and growth. We imagined a world where nature, specifically agriculture, in response to the scarcity of available areas for cultivation, minimizes its footprint and rather extends vertically. It is therefore through the assembling of stacked fields that a ‘non-building’, a denial of form, gives way to function. The deep voids between levels open up a transparency and lightness in the whole assembly ultimately projecting an iconic image. An image that clearly respond to the Barilla mission of a close relationship between human and nature.

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