Design Proposal for the Malaysian Pavilion at Expo Milano 2015 


In 2015, the World Expo opens in Milan, Italy from the 1st of May through the 31st of October. The central theme is “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”. The Expo will welcome over 20 million visitors, with over 140 countries showcasing best practices and technologies in addressing the key issue of providing safe, sufficient and healthy food in the most sustainable and responsible manner.

In collaboration with Sugar Design, Hypsos developed a concept proposal for the design of the Malaysian Pavilion that elegantly tied together the shared vision of the Expo organisers and Malaysia’s own story “Towards a Sustainable Food System”.  The design took its inspiration from the iconic pandan leaf, which was chosen for its important cultural and culinary significance as a key ingredient in Malaysian cuisine and as a familiar and versatile food wrapping. The shape of the 2,047 m2 building follows the form of an elegantly twisted pandan leaf that provides an infinite shape, drawing visitors from the ground floor through sweeping interior and exterior exhibition spaces to the rooftop garden with views overlooking the Expo site. The curved structure provides gently sloping passageways with ample shade that provide an immersive experience, developed in conjunction with content specialist Chris White, into Malaysian culture through exhibition areas revealing the many charms of Malaysia and highlighting efforts being made towards sustainable food production.

The entire experience culminated in the pavilion café where visitors were encouraged to try one of Malaysia’s most symbolic dishes, Nasi Lemak, which is of course elegantly wrapped in a pandan leaf.