The Austrian pavilion presented the links between producers, retailers, and consumers. The Commissioner General of the Pavilion, Josef Pröll, stated that "The Austrian pavilion connected the seemingly incompatible: technology and natural diversity."
The theme "Breathe Austria": An innovative way of addressing nutrition
The pavilion of Austria focused on the most fundamental and universal source of food: Air. "Air, climate and atmosphere connect every organism on Earth, which means nutrition is directly related to climatic conditions." explains Josef Pröll. With this theme, Austria insisted on the importance of air purity in the production of safe and healthy food.
"Breathe Austria", literally
The Pavilion, designed by Terrain, BDA, Graz – Klaus K. Loenhart, aimed at recreating in a 1.910 square meter site the purity of the Austrian air and lushness of its forests, thus inviting the visitor into a unique ecosystem. Once inside the pavilion, visitors instantly sensed and experienced the difference from the hot Italian summer. According to Mr. Pröll, the pavilion "offered a place of calm, of sensual pleasure and inspiration for visitors".
The pavilion: an air factory
The pavilion worked as a sort of photosynthesis device. It did not consume but produced oxygen. The building created a frame around a vegetation zone. The framed structure generated, without air conditioning, the microclimatic conditions of the Austrian forest. The trees and vegetation inside it amounted to a total leaf -and evaporation- surface of about 43,200 m2 thus allowing the production of oxygen for 1,800 people per hour.
When technology serves biodiversity
The pavilion represented Austria's innovative mindset in addressing global challenges. "The pavilion was a prototype that incorporated Austrian problem-solving skills and ability to bring together experts from various fields (architects, artists, engineers, scientists, business leaders etc.). The spectrum of innovations ranged from innovative solar and vegetation technology, climate and sound design to experimental forest cuisine, with delicious fresh oxygen. The oxygen- and climate-producing centre demonstrated there could be a wider role for technology in direct dialogue with nature." explains Josef Pröll.
Showcase Austria as a great innovative force
With its pavilion, Austria intended to present itself as an attractive place to live, due to its attention towards sustainable development and high innovation standards. Josef Pröll concludes: "The aim was to show that Austria is a great innovative force behind new environmental concepts and has the courage to break new ground. We hope visitors experienced Austria as a country of culture and technology, a place of the 21st century."