If they were not missing 201 days at the beginning of the event, this Expo construction site would be a construction yard as another. Instead, 201 days are a little bit few when it comes to infrastructures of this worth. Archiobjects went to visit the EXPO and observed personally the situation. Walking around, we have been able to steal a few photographs that offer some initial impressions.
From the highway, from Baranzate and Rho, different points of view are visible – each of them portraying a completely upside-down composition of buildings under construction, working vehicles, trucks, sacks and building materials. It came to my mind the sentence that everyone was said when being a child – “Don’t always wait tha last minute for doing things” – I look at the building site and I started laughing.
People are at work also on Sunday. They are a few, but at least some cranes are moving, the system is clearly visible and the main road that characterizes the place is already well defined. Personally, as architect and Italian citizen, I hope very much in the success of EXPO 2015, but a dozen workers throughout the entire area does not make a nice impression (although Sunday).
You hear a lot of rumors around this immense work. In few days, Piazza 24 Maggio in Milan will open, and so a piece of Expo will finally be brought to fruition, but how many projects have been left behind? Original plans were talking about a tall tower, more than 200 meters high, inside the master plan, that was the first to be left apart because of funding issues. Another goal was opening the waterways to allow the navigation from EXPO to the center of Milan – nothing incredible, believe me, in 1300 Milan was fully navigable and was comparable to Venice for the number of bridges.
Also according to the courageous expectations of 2008, Milan was supposed to be equipped with 3 new subway lines. However, only one has been completed up to this point, “la lilla”. What should we say instead about the rendering of the project that has made us dream?
Unfortunately there are already a lot of people saying we should forgot it and that the final result will be quite different from what we expected. Personally, I’ve heard some rumors about the fact that, to speed up the process, they are tending to simplify the projects, both buildings and the infrastructure – and you know, the simplicity forced by time issues can’t lead to brilliant results.
I don’t want to be pessimistic or simply tell what people want to hear, for this reason I will regularly visit EXPO construction site in the next months – I’m worried about its successful completion.
No one doubts that it will be completed for the set deadline, but how? We all know that the first few days of a so impressive event are the most important. If at first you don’t make a good impression it will be difficult to attract visitors in the following months.
Once, I read in a magazine that tickets have not been sold in large amount, as well as the hotel rooms are far from being fully booked. Another thing that I’ve come across and that literally left me dry mouth is that the call for the assignment of the catering for the food inside Expo went to empty twice. This means a total lack of confidence in the success of the event – it means that some entrepreneurs did not even want to try to win the exclusive right to provide a service within a universal exhibition. Alarming.
The construction of the pavilions is still a bit backwards, since paperwork and various issues still slow down the process. Organizers are still giving lots to the participating countries! Moreover, (in this moment) some countries don’t know yet where their own pavilion will be built. For this reason, many architectures are still at the level of the preliminary draft.
Despite everything, I am hopeful and confident that Italy will succeed in this endeavor.
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