Slow Food’s Collaboration with Herzog & de Meuron for the Slow Food Pavilion at Expo 2015

Slow Food and the Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron have been collaborating on constructing the Slow Food Pavilion for Expo 2015 in Milan, which will be accessible from May 1 and officially inaugurated on May 19 in the presence of Slow Food president Carlo Petrini and the Swiss architect Jacques Herzog.

Herzog & de Meuron were originally involved in the implementation of their master plan for Expo Milan 2015, but abandoned the project when they realized that “the organizers would not undertake the necessary steps to convince the participating nations to give up on their conventional indulging in self-contemplation instead of focusing on their specific contribution to agriculture and food production.”

When Slow Food decided to participate at Expo 2015 to make its voice heard in this international platform, it became important to take on Herzog & de Meuron’s requirement to create an innovative Expo space that would be in harmony with the theme of Expo 2015: Feeding the Planet. Energy for Life. Slow Food agrees with Herzog & de Meuron’s vision of focusing on the content of the exposition rather than on pompous and unsustainable structures that would only distract the visitors from the real purpose of the event. Slow Food was therefore certain that it would like to collaborate with Herzog & de Meuron on the implementation of a special pavilion that would stick to the architects’ original master plan.

In 2014, Slow Food asked Herzog & de Meuron to take on the task of designing its space at Expo, and once they accepted, they started to work with Slow Food on the Pavilion, which is now in the implementation phase. It was extremely gratifying for Slow Food that the architects accepted, because it meant being able to see the organization’s main topics and concerns be interpreted and implemented architectonically by such an important partner. What followed was an extraordinary collaboration with Herzog & de Meuron, because they have shown a very accurate comprehension of the Slow Food philosophy, themes, and style.

Carlo Petrini said in regard to the collaboration: “My initial expectations in working with Herzog & de Meuron have been exceeded: The experience has been filled with mutual understanding, and it was moving to see that they share the same ideas about sustainability, style, and what the spaces for a Universal Exposition should look like. Each of their suggestions was in coherence with our philosophy, and our interests overlapped in every single drawing or stylistic element, which made the collaboration extremely harmonious. We admire Herzog & de Meuron as one of few partners who managed to understand our message completely as well as keep an eye on every detail.”

Jacques Herzog explains the Slow Food Pavilion as a space where “people can watch visual statements and read key texts about different consumption habits and their consequences for our planet, they can meet and discuss with exponents of sustainable agriculture and local food production to learn about alternative approaches, and they can smell and taste the richness of agricultural and food biodiversity.”

For further information, please contact the Slow Food International Press Office:

Paola Nano, +39 329 8321285 [email protected]

Slow Food involves over a million of people dedicated to and passionate about good, clean and fair food. This includes chefs, youth, activists, farmers, fishers, experts and academics in 158 countries; a network of around 100,000 Slow Food members linked to 1,500 local chapters worldwide (known as convivia), contributing through their membership fee, as well as the events and campaigns they organize; and over 2,500 Terra Madre food communities who practice small-scale and sustainable production of quality food around the world.


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