Coldefy and Carlo Ratti Associati Reveal Design of the French Pavilion for Expo Osaka 2025
French architecture studio Coldefy and Italian architecture practice CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati have unveiled ‘Theatrum Naturae’, or ‘Theatre of Nature,’ the project selected as France’s national pavilion at Expo Osaka 2025. The proposal welcomes both natural and artificial habitats, aiming to illustrate how design can connect human and non-human worlds while showcasing France’s contribution to culture and the natural environment. In the exhibition, the visitors will be invited to explore France’s multiple ecosystems and rediscover a connection to nature.
The pathway leading visitors through the pavilion is divided into three acts: Ascent, Discovery of Nature, and Return to the Ground. A winding staircase rises from the ground inviting visitors to cross the curtain threshold into the interior space of the building and finally leading them to the rooftop terrace. Here, a landscaped garden presents slices of nature taken from different environs of France, from the mountains to the coast.
The project represents a response to the 2025 Osaka World Expo overarching theme, “Empowering Life.” The design adopts a circular architectural approach. By blending prefabricated pieces with natural elements, it reiterates a ‘virtuous loop of reuse and recycling that extends far beyond the fleeting timeframe of the World Expo.’
First Look at Expo 2025 Osaka: Previewing Sou Fujimoto’s Masterplan and the Initial National Pavilion Designs
As we attempt to address the changing role of expos today in the context of the climate crisis, we must seek new ways to imagine the relationship between the natural and artificial. By combining different forms of intelligence, whether organic or technological, we can redefine connections between people and nature. – Carlo Ratti
Coldefy and CRA, whose founding partner, Carlo Ratti, has been announced as the curator of the 2025 Venice Architecture Biennale, are joined by design & build firm RIMOND Group as the main contractor and Japanese engineering firm Yasui Sekkei.
The French Pavilion invites visitors to enter the theater of life. Both actors and spectators in this production, visitors traverse a path through the Pavilion that stages the essential symbiosis between humanity’s technological and natural environments, ultimately urging them to become aware of the vital necessity of our connection to nature. – Thomas Coldefy
Several other countries have revealed designs of their national pavilions planned for Expo Osaka 2025. Foster + Partners has been selected to design the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s pavilion, proposing a proposing a complex inspired by the organic forms of traditional Saudi villages. AMDL CIRCLE has revealed images of their design for the Nordic Pavilion, aiming to showcase the Nordic people’s respect and connection with the environment, while Mario Cucinella Architects proposes interplay of different generations and cultures for the Italian Pavilion. In a recent announcement, Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia, has been selected to host the World Expo 2030.