The UK is participating at the World Expo 2015 in Milan, with ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’ the core theme.
It aims to highlight one of the most pressing challenges of our time – how to feed and sustain an expected rise in the world’s population to nine billion by 2050.
Some 145 nations are participating including the UK’s major political and trading partners.
Milan Expo 2015 offers a global platform to promote UK international agendas and showcase British innovation, creativity and global leadership.
The UK’s participation theme for Milan Expo is ‘Grown in Britain & Northern Ireland’, led by UK Trade and Investment with support from seven government departments.
The UK is creating a stand-out Pavilion inspired by the role of the bee in the global ecosystem and offering visitors a unique experiential journey.
It also forms the platform for a 6 month global programme of UK business events and cultural activities, linked to the challenge of feeding the planet.
The UK Pavilion at Milan Expo 2015 is inspired by the journey of the honey bee and highlights the vital role of pollination in the global food chain.
It is a metaphor for how the UK is a hive of innovation and creativity helping to feed the planet.
The UK Pavilion takes you on an immersive journey through a British orchard and wildflower meadow, before entering a 14 metre high hive.
A series of landscapes tells the story of how Britain contributes world leading solutions to some of today’s greatest challenges.
Guests enter the UK Pavilion and experience how a honey bee travels through a series of natural landscapes.
Each landscape demonstrates how pollination is vital to feeding the planet and what the UK is doing to help address this global challenge.
Your experience of the UK Pavilion begins in an orchard of traditional British apple trees. Each species will mature during the six months of Milan Expo, going from blossom in spring to the ripening of fruit in summer and into autumn.
An immersive soundscape accompanies visitors on their journey through the UK Pavilion.
It features musicians who have recorded with artists including Spiritualized, Sigor Ros, Soulsavers, The Orb, Youth and Spring Heel Jack.
Representing a unique dialogue between human and honey bee, an evolving symphony of pre-recorded orchestral sounds provides a constantly changing back-drop.
Vibration sensors within a real bee hive measure the energy of the bee colony, converting it to digital signals which trigger harmonious pre-recorded sounds at particular thresholds.
Enter the wildflower meadow via a corridor of corten steel, open to the sky.
Planted with traditional British wildflower species, such as heathers, buttercups and sorrel, the 40 metre long space will continually change as the plants grow.
Plants are raised to eye-level, giving a ‘bees-eye view’ of the natural environment and inviting visitors to experience the world from a new perspective.
The honey bee and other insect pollinators face many pressures such as loss of flower-rich meadows.
The wildflower meadow is designed as a rich and diverse habitat to encourage biodiversity and pollination.
Featuring textured grasses, flowering plants and fruit trees it creates a seasonally evolving and nectar rich natural environment.
Amphitheatre seating at the end of the meadow provides a perfect resting place to take in the experience or enjoy the entertainment on offer at the
The 30 tonne hive structure offers you a glimpse into the life of a bee colony.
Measuring 14 metres the cuboid lattice structure is inspired by the form of a honeycomb.
The aluminium hive has over 180,000 individual structural components and was assembled in 32 horizontal layers.
Entering the hive you will be surrounded by pulses and buzzes, together with the glow of 1,000 LED lights, each of which are linked to the movements of bees in a real hive located in the UK.
The technology behind the hive has been developed by Dr Martin Bencsik of Nottingham Trent University.
His research monitoring the health of the bee hive, to combat pollinator decline, was one of the inspirations behind the design of the hive.
Before entering the hive, visitors arrive at a spacious terrace.
Here, the UK Pavilion restaurant and bar provide a stunning vantage point of the hive.
The best of British food and drink is available from the terrace provided by world renowned caterer and Royal Warrant holder, Mosimann’s.
Visitors will experience fresh, seasonal produce, which has been grown in Britain and sourced locally from small food businesses and artisan makers.
The monthly menu at the UK Pavilion reflects traditional British dishes with a healthy twist and is curated by UK internationally acclaimed chefs, such as Tom Aikens, Angela Hartnett and Ken Hom.
There is more on visiting the British Pavilion at Expo Milano 2015 here.