China Vanke

China Vanke

At the heart of Expo 2015

Client: Bodino Engineering Srl


Architectural model of China Vanke Pavillion by Daniel Libeskind.


Scale model and special realization to support the activities of the contractor Bodino Engineering.

The result of the architecture genius Daniel Libeskind and the technique of Bodino Engineering is China Vanke Pavilion, one of the main attractions of the EXPO 2015 trade show. Its scale representation reflects the complexity of the architectural work and its metaphorical essence, as the result of a critical and selective process which combines the project conceived by the architect with the physical limitations imposed by the creation of the 3D printed model.

EXPO 2015 has focused the eyes of the whole world on Milan. The China Vanke Pavilion, with its plastic forms, inspired by the figure of the red dragon, has been one of the most representative icons.

The work is the result of an exceptional effort, which starts from the genius of Daniel Libeskind and is achieved thanks to the technical and production of Bodino Engineering.


The China Vanke Pavillion is the synthesis of a number of Chinese metaphors, including the Shitang and the dragon, to which its form is clearly inspired. Bodino Engineering has coordinated and directed the production, based on the architectural design by Daniel Libeskind. (photo credits Hufton+Crow – Studio Libeskind).

In the history of architecture, the scale model has always been an essential moment. The act of anticipating the final realization with a scaled-down model allows the designer to evaluate the spatiality and the public to understand the character of the work that will be done. In short, the model reflects all the complexity of the architectural work.

Communicating a project vision means first of all to grasp its essence.

The scale reduction is the result of a critical and selective process, which has to combine the image conceived by the architect with the physical constraints imposed by the implementation of the model.

vanke - front

vanke - back

The scale model was realized with full-color 3D print techniques, starting from a 3D model built with Rhinoceros and Grasshopper.

The scale model was functional to a series of marketing operations, aimed to communicate to Vanke, China’s giant in the construction industry, some of the features that the work should have had. The realization had to be as consistent as possible to the form designed by Libeskind, not only in the proportions, but also in the finishes.

One of the key aspects that characterized the digital construction of the model was the definition of its coating, which in the original work is made up of more than 4000 ceramic plates, depicting the scales of the dragon.

vanke - 3d montaggio

Some details of the 3D model during its execution steps.

vanke - plastico finale

The final model of China Vanke Pavillion @ EXPO Milano 2015

vanke - gadget

Together with the official scale model some small scale gadgets were realized.

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