For the Universal Exposition, Casalgrande Padana has supplied over 4200 slabs – produced in the 60x120 form and subsequently cut into two 60x60 pieces – created from a design by Daniel Libeskind, who is also the author behind the pavilion project. Colouring the slabs is a special metallic-effect red stain, whilst the graphic pattern is inspired by fractal mathematics. And to create this eye-catching structure, Casalgrande Padana has used a special three-dimensional pattern.
The Fractile slabs are the result of meticulous work, both in terms of the aesthetic perspective and the sophisticated industrial procedure used to make them, which involves glazing and firing processes at 1250°C and the use of carefully selected mixtures of clays, quartz and feldspar. Oxide-saturated metallic glazes are used, providing the ceramic surface with a dynamic iridescent effect. The colour was developed specifically for this project in the Casalgrande Padana colour laboratory.
Casalgrande Padana''s work was instrumental in the completion of the Vanke Pavilion within the set deadlines (it was the first pavilion to be officially delivered to Expo, three months before the opening date). It represents a truly majestic operation, especially considering the complexity of the processes required.
The entire structure of the Vanke Pavilion (which certainly stands out from the crowd for its unusual shape) was then prepared for the installation of a metal substructure for the dry anchoring of the ceramic cladding, which was jointly developed by Daniel Libeskind and the Casalgrande Padana Engineering Division. The slab-laying system was devised to emphasise the deconstruction of traditional coplanar surfaces through the partial overlaying of the three-dimensional Fractile porcelain stoneware slabs, glazed with an evocative red lacquer.