Expo Contest

Söehne and Partner Architects as Architects

The brain as a model.


The brain with its structure for thinking and the production of knowledge provides an architecture that suggests imitation – not just for computers and machines but also for architecture. The brain is extremely adaptable – and when activated, it is extremely powerful but also economical and efficient.

Learning and joy. An inspiring place that awakes curiosity. People are invited to leave their comfort zone and gain new experiences while having fun exploring, experimenting and breaking new ground. New associations create new possibilities. The brain is made up of 100 billion nerve cells; the connections are crucial for the ability to perform and learn. Surprising combinations provoke creativity.

Analog & Digital. In our complex world, tacit knowledge is becoming increasingly important with the simultaneous use of digital possibilities. In the pavilion analogue and digital are not opposites, but are available to visitors as resources that work together.

Foundation. The entire Austrian pavilion is built in and above a water basin (33m x 49m). The primary circulation and mandatory architectural program are built out of prefabricated wooden and concrete elements, around a courtyard including a green oasis and a waterfall. This primary network is designed to cope with a capacity of 16.000 visitors a day.

The support structure. A three-dimensional grid in the form of a prefabricated steel construction takes over the load bearing capacity of the roads and architectural program.

Secondary network with tube system. Modular prefabricated wooden elements form the secondary network. A three-dimensional playground for everyone. The tube system connects the whole building complex, while an accompanying system takes care of ventilation and air-conditioning.

Sustainability. Photovoltaic systems on the roof and in the area of the main entrance and exit provide the energy and at the same time serve as shading element for the outdoor areas. Water features such as waterfalls and the large pool are a reference to the water wealth of Austria and cool down the complex at the same time. The green areas and the spraying systems ensure a pleasant climate. All components are prefabricated and therefore easy to assemble and dismantle.


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