A challenge for Italy and for our company
di Claudio Recchi, President.
A few hectic days separate us from the official opening of Expo 2015, during which the completion of the area, still a hard-working construction site, is carried out between controversies and outbursts of optimism.
To this end, this editorial seems a good occasion not only to take stock of Expo, but also to talk about Proger’s role within this ambitious project.
When in 2008 Italy was appointed to host Expo 2015, Proger was a company with a turnover of about 26 million Euros per year. Today its turnover is more than 100 million Euros: it develops projects in more than 20 countries and is still on the rise globally. In the last seven years, thanks to our team work, we have been able to grow, overcoming the difficulties caused by a tough worldwide economic situation.
So, why do we have to talk about Expo 2015? The main reasons are two.
First of all, because this is an extraordinary event, an important challenge for our whole Country, that is trying to recover from the long crisis, by showing to the international audience its ability to react and its know-how that traditionally combines the “Italic creativity” with a high cultural and architectural heritage, leaving nothing to the improvisation.
Secondly, because Proger has taken this opportunity to show its own know-how, by realizing the main project of the event, Palazzo Italia – the only permanent building -, the temporary buildings of the Cardo and the Vietnam Pavilion.
Expo 2015 is an important showcase for our Country, as it is an occasion to discuss about international cultures and traditions, as stated by its motto Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life. This challenging topic invites the host countries to culturally approach the main theme, rather than showing their technological progress.
By visiting the construction site, people have the perception to cross a new urban district. The area, of more than 1 million square meters, defined as Cardo and Decumanus, avoids the “trade fair effect” and the density of the buildings transforms the pavilions into a real urban structure. Expo 2015 seems the prelude of new part of the city, conditioning what will happen after Expo.
But what will remain after the event? This is still undefined, but Palazzo Italia, which will represent the excellencies of our Country, will lead the future transformation.
Being the symbolic core of the whole Exposition, the Italy Pavilion has been an important challenge for Proger that, together with Nemesi, BMS Progetti and Prof. Livio De Santoli, has led the project from the competition phase – won in April 2013 – to the realization phase. A complex, big project (ca. 13.500 sq.m.), whose compositional choices have required the most advanced engineering techniques to realize such an ambitious architectural structure. The building symbolizes a petrified forest, represented by a façade made up of white biodynamic cement panels, an innovative material designed at i.lab (research centre by Italcementi). Thanks to their high environmental performances, these panels capture the pollutants present in the air and turn them into inert salts, helping to purify the atmosphere from smog. An appropriate caisson has been realized for each panel. This and other designing choices have led to the realization of an Energy Class A building, at zero consumption, by perfectly meeting Expo’s main topic.
If the Italy Pavilion can be considered as a manifesto of the Italian design excellence, well-expressed by our Company, the Vietnam Pavilion (ca. 880 sq.m.) represents Proger’s ability to compete at international level.
In fact last year Proger was awarded the contract as General Contractor for the executive design and the realization of the Vietnam Pavilion with the Turnkey formula.