Last year we were told that a giant vacuum made from copper coils that create an electrostatic field wouldsuck smog from the sky. This year, it's all about making our buildings do the hard work for us.
Architects Nemesi & Partners are set to construct a 13,000 square metre permanent Italian pavilion in time for the 2015 Milan Expo in May next year. Adorned in a weblike covering that has the look of many 3D-printed designs we've seen of late, Palazzo Italia will also be donned in six-storeys of photocatalytic concrete that architect Michele Mole described as like a "petrified forest, something that would recall nature as well as technology".
Made by Italcementi, a company that wants to change perceptions of traditional cement, panels of the biodynamic material will absorb nitric and nitrogen oxides from the atmosphere when the sun hits its surface, and turn them into inert salts. Around 2,000 tonnes of cement will be used, and it is made from mortar using 80 percent recycled materials, including offcuts of Carrara marble which gives it a dramatic sheen. In addition the photovoltaic glass roof will generate energy. All in all, a great effort for an expo where the motto next year is "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life".