Expo’s Tree of Life plan approved

Milan’s exposition enriched

The Tree of Life project, one of the most startling of Expo 2015’s planned exhibits, to be located in the lake arena next to the Italy pavilion, was approved last week at a cost of around €8 million. On ice for some time, all the documentation is now with anti-corruption czar Raffaele Cantone for a final check on the source of the financing.

The spectacular Tree of Life, inspired by the Michelangelo design for Piazza del Campidoglio in Rome, will be constructed in wood and steel by engineering firms from Brescia, a city some 100 km east of Milan with a long tradition of steelwork. The Brescia consortium is reported by media as now being bombarded with applications from latecomers hoping to be included in the group. The 25 companies who originally bid for the plan, calling themselves “Orgoglio Brescia” (Brescia Pride), had already put €3 million on the table.

Lake Arena, at the northernmost point of the grounds, is a pond surrounded by about 3,000 seats, set in an open space of 28,000 sqm. Hosting up to 20,000 people, it is bordered by some 100 trees planted in three concentric curves.

At the centre of the pond there will be a fountain and the steel and wood structure of the Tree of Life, enriched with water games, sound and lights.

The water of Lake Arena comes from the Villoresi Canal. Water is an element strongly linked to the central theme of Expo Milano 2015: Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life. Water also summons up memories of the Navigli, the canals that are symbols of Milan. The pond should also be connected to another water-themed project, “Vie d’Acqua”, but it has currently been suspended after the anti-corruption checks revealed sleaze which has already led to arrests.

It is not yet clear what will be the fate of the Tree of Life once Expo 2015 closes its gates on 31 October next year. But Orgoglio Brescia is reported to be campaigning to have it moved to their city.

General Info