An Italian footprint, a global icon

Since 1851, the universal Expo is a great fair where countries from all over the globe participate by creating their own themed pavilion, which embodies the technological and cultural achievements of the nation. Each edition leaves a legacy embodied in a icon as the Tour Eiffel in Paris, of course, or the Atomium in Brussels. In 2015, 140 countries discussed in Milan on questions related to: “Feeding the planet, energy for life” and its symbol was Albero Della Vita (Tree Of Life).

With its 100 trees, the Lake Arena was the wider open green space of that global appointment with a surface of 28.000 mand a capacity of 20,000 spectators. The Albero Della Vita stood at the centre: a 37 meters high sculpture made of steel and wood. This icon was linked with the concept of the Italian Pavilion, that was “Vivaio”, a fertile ground for innovation and sustainable solutions. Each project, presented within this incubator, was perceived as a seed of imagination and possibilities that Italy planted and cherished until it blossomed. The branches of this mighty Tree delivered to the world, embodied by Expo 2015, the fruits of the most brilliant Italian rising minds.

The project’s Artistic Director, Marco Balich, was inspired by the mosaics of the Duomo of Otranto and by Michelangelo’s pavement in Piazza del Campidoglio. The Tree of Life / Albero della Vita was an element deeply rooted in the Italian culture but also in many cultures from around the world, thus it came as a perfect hyphen between the diversity of the Universal Exposition. Marco Balich’s creation was a monument to groundbreaking creativity and an outstanding scenographic machine able to produce one show per hour for the entire period of Expo 2015. Music, water and pyro fountains, light and projection effects animated this spectacular creature, which aimed is to create emotions. The concept of the Tree of Life (Albero della Vita) was conceived and developed by Marco Balich; designed by Marco Balich and Studio Gioforma; lighting design and direction of Mise-en-Scene by Koert Vermulen and ACT Lighting Design.

Watch the show of the Tree of Life.


Concept by Marco Balich

Design by Marco Balich, Studio Giòforma

Photos by Federico Vespignani