Design revealed for Belgian pavilion at Osaka World Expo in 2025

Design revealed for Belgian pavilion at Osaka World Expo in 2025
A rendering of the Belgian Pavilion for the 2025 World Expo in Osaka. Credit: Belexpo

The first illustration images of the design for the Belgian pavilion at the World Expo in the Japanese city of Osaka have been revealed. The theme of the project puts humans at its centre.

The Belgian Commissariat-General for International Exhibitions (BelExpo) announced on Tuesday that a consortium founded by La Louvière-based architect Cyril Rousseaux has been selected to build the Belgian pavilion at the World Expo, which will take place from 13 April to 13 October 2025.

The theme of the next world expo is "Designing Future Society for Our Lives." The major event will be held on the artificial island of Yumeshima, off the coast of Osaka. Belgium has chosen the sub-theme "Saving Lives".

Credit: BelExpo

"This theme provides the opportunity to create a broad picture of many of Belgium's strengths. It is an opportunity to tell the story of the innovative nature of our companies, our significant investment in research and development, and our successes in healthcare, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, waste treatment and recycling, as well as public health and social and working conditions," BelExpo noted in a statement.

Rousseaux's project is on the theme of "saving lives" and puts human beings at the centre, as well as the sustainability of the building and the extent to which it can be restored. The architect focused on water and the cells that make it up to create life.

The building takes the shape of an icebox, reflecting the solid state of water, and is clad in a fabric that reflects light. On the building's driveway, a more dynamic, rhythmic and translucent material should reflect the liquid state of water, like a mirror of water that visitors walk through.

Credit: BelExpo

The roof made to look like a cloud, made of inflatable shapes, should reflect the gaseous state of water. It acts as the fifth facade, playing an important role in the project, and will be visible from the main pedestrian ring on the site.

The so-called heart of the building "visually connects heaven and earth" with green facades and a waterfall. The building's designers assure that everything can be recovered and reassembled after the exhibition to ensure its sustainability.

The project, named "Belgium – Brussels, Flanders, Wallonia", is financed to the tune of €9.8 million by the Régie des Bâtiments, while also counting on private sponsors from the construction sector.

Credit: BelExpo

The World Expo will welcome some 150 countries and more than 28 million visitors in two years' time. The city of Osaka was also the venue of the first Japanese-hosted World Expo in 1970.

With a fries shop and waffle stall which cost €13 million in tax-payers money, the Belgian pavilion at the 2020 World Expo in Dubai was the target of criticism. Complaints mainly focussed on the content, not the design, with people arguing it presented a clichéd and old-fashioned image of Belgium.

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