Swiss starchitect Jacques Herzog, otherwise known as one half of Herzog & De Meuron, was supposed to take part in designing an ambitious masterplan for the 2015 Expo in Milan. Herzog and others in the team agreed to the project with the stipulation that the "outdated" expo format be reconsidered, the architect told Uncube magazine, to "overcome this ridiculous system of national pride represented by individual pavilion design." Since the 19th century, he continued, all the expos have been "obsolete vanity fairs." However, apparently most of the countries didn't really want to change the way they'd been doing things for time immemorial, and Herzog and his brethren left the project in 2011. "What a bore and a waste of money and resources!"
The theme for this year's expo is centered around feeding the planet. "We felt that this expo would be exactly the right place to start focusing on content," Herzog reasoned to Uncube, "because it simply seems embarrassing to address this very important topic and at the same time build enormous, dramatically curved pavilions with facades in wavy plastic or with spectacular waterfalls or whatever."
Clearly, Herzog was aiming a little higher than Daniel Libeskind's red scaly pavilion for the Chinese real estate giant Vanke, which resembles the muscles of an amorphous scaly creature and doesn't appear to say all that much about food security, although it does have a rooftop bamboo garden.
"There is an amazing variety of global themes that should be tackled and brought to the fore – the conventional format with national pavillons competing for design awards cannot deliver that!" Herzog fumed. "So I am afraid that the visitors will again be blinded and distracted rather than informed."
· Putting an End to the Vanity Fair [Uncube magazine]
· Daniel Libeskind Strikes Again With Red Scaly Pavilion in Milan [Curbed National]
· Milan's Air-Cleaning Expo Center is a Big Ol' Smog Catcher [Curbed National]
· Milan 'Supertree' Prompts Claims of Architectural Plagiarism [Curbed National]
· All Feuds posts [Curbed National]