Cocoa Cluster_Milan Expo 2015 > Italy
The project explores the Cocoa from its geographical origin in the plantations of tropical and sub-tropical areas located within the Cluster countries (Cameroon, Cuba, Gabon, Ghana, Sao Tome and Principe).
The Landscapes of the jungle, the forest of the exporting countries and the self-organized, informal community production spaces are the operative background of the many stories told by the Cocoa concept in its different aspects as an agricultural product. As descriptions and images of its transformation from a fruit to a commodity and a design product, a sequence of analyses and mappings explain its physical, botanical, landscape and spatial components, ranging from a single seed scale to that of the whole ecosystem that supports it.
The physical space of this cluster's concept is not merely organized as a neutral museum background to entrust the story of the Cocoa characters;
but as a subjective and selective interpretation of some of his traits, transfigured and emphasized through the construction of landscapes and narratives.
Cocoa farming's environment involves a world of vegetation layers, trees and shrubs of different heights and shapes growing out of an often topographically complex ground. The architectural project embodies its representation by organizing it along a creek or arroyo, a backbone path longitudinally crossing the corrugated terrain of the jungle, while the pavilions are framed as chance encounters in the forest, erratic stones, accommodations of farmers, containers and deposits for the initial processing of the cocoa crop. The invasive and infesting vegetation vehemently emerges from the soil of the tropical environment of the Cocoa, strongly colonizing the space between the buildings, balancing and acting on them, compromising their static equilibrium and their geometry. The wooden pavilions' skin, a lightweight fabric that metaphorically protects the precious contents of Cocoa products, opens and unfolds, exposing the internal structures. The trees, individually, in pairs or groups, as simple as poles or as complex as urban furniture systems, define functional areas, act as landmarks, support the different lighting or speakers and orient the visitors on the jungle-plateau.