Mario Cucinella Architects’ Italian Pavilion at Expo 2025 Osaka


Mario Cucinella Architects (MCAThe winning design for the Italian Pavilion has been revealed by Expo 2025 Osaka. The proposed timber-based architecture, titled La Città Ideale, reflects a modern interpretation of the Ideal City, a symbolic image of the Italian Renaissance. More specifically, MCA’s project spotlights the country’s vision of a social space based on integration, inclusivity, and a culture of hands-on engagement founded on real relationships and interactions — well-represented by concepts deeply rooted in the Italian tradition, like the ‘Piazza’ (public square), ‘Teatro’ (theater), and ‘Giardino’ (garden). These artifacts of culture will be displayed, decomposed, then re-proposed to the public in a contemporary and unexpected way. Like a living organism, the pavilion’s flexibility and adaptability ultimately promote a new relationship between art, technology, the environment, people, and history. 

Expo 2025 Osaka – Italian Pavilion | all renders © Mario Cucinella Architects



Italian culture: a guide to recreating its essence


You can also find out more about the following: team Mario Cucinella Architects has translated this vision by dividing up the Italian Pavilion for Expo 2025 Osaka. (see more hereThe exhibition is split into two buildings: a showcase containing the core of the experience (the core) and an area for secondary functions behind the showcase. A large atrium with a portico and giant columns frames the architecture of the interior route. The interior is a full immersion experience, featuring Renaissance paintings and magnificent spaces that exude Italian heritage and culture. The pavilion is also a structure which lets itself be permeated with the luminescence of the sky and the sea surrounding the site.

mario cucinella's italian pavilion for expo 2025 osaka is the emblem of an ideal city
Ideal City: An immersive recreation



the ideal city experience with a theater & italian garden


This dramatic experience is divided into three separate ‘acts’, each rooted in locations and experiences in which Italy has been an innovator. The first part is the The movie theater; Italy’s theatrical heritage (in the architectural space, technological innovation, and revolutionary acting methods) is limitless. Visitors will see their perceptions change and imagine possible future scenarios. The spectator will interchange with the actor and the real and virtual will blend together in a multisensory theater space. 


Next is the Ideal City The theme was originally developed in the fifteenth century to represent Renaissance theory of the Ideal City. In this painting, Utopia is shown as a place filled with deafening emptyness, where human life has been replaced by a metaphysical, dystopian place. This will provide an opportunity to put people, nature and sustainability at the heart of the Ideal City. The latter would combine an inclusive, social approach to quality and craftsmanship with new technologies — creating a space for narrative, in-depth knowledge, and creation. This section of pavilion features a series modern workshops that are each focused on a specific theme, such as technology and energy, food and the environment or manufacturing and design.


The last act unfolds as the Italian Garden On the roof of the pavilion, there is a place to relax and enjoy. MCA has reworked a classical labyrinth idea, allowing visitors to experience an equilibrium between man and plants, between the natural world and the artificial. This balance is achieved by balancing organic life with rational human design.

mario cucinella's italian pavilion for expo 2025 osaka is the emblem of an ideal city
A light-infused timber structure



a low-impact & timber design following the circular economy


Material-wise, following an analysis of Osaka’s climate and environmental impact, the architects decided to operate the construction site as a circular economy. To achieve this, priority is given to products of natural origin and short supply chains. Recycled content is also a top priority, as are avoiding toxic chemicals, and obtaining certifications for sustainability. The structural framework will thus mainly comprise timber — one of the most readily available materials — sourced from certified local supply chains, and contamination will be minimized by giving preference to mono-material components.


The Pavilion will be a material mine at the end of its lifespan. Each element’s characteristics will allow it to be easily adapted to meet new needs by going through natural transformation processes that do not require any further processing. After Expo 2025 Osaka closes down, the Pavilion is intended to become an archive for display as an ‘Italian Workshop’: a database of Italy’s best practices, patents, projects, sustainable ideas, collaborations between human intelligence and artificial intelligence, social successes in respect of integration, commercial partnerships between companies, and agreements between countries. ‘The project is in line with the SDGs and the Expo subtheme Saving Lives. […] Compositional, technological and material decisions will help to create a renewed equilibrium between man and nature. This can inspire and motivate action as well as establish new synergies that lead to a more sustainable world.,’ Shares MCA. 

mario cucinella's italian pavilion for expo 2025 osaka is the emblem of an ideal city
Merging traditional craftsmanship with new technology

mario cucinella's italian pavilion for expo 2025 osaka is the emblem of an ideal city
View of the pavilion from outside

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