Showcasing Italy at the CIIE

Design for Three Italian Pavilions

Italian Jewelry: one of three theme pavilions of Italy designed by VIRTUARCH.

The CIIE (China International Import Expo) is one of China’s most prestigious trade shows, held for the fourth time in Shanghai from 5.-10. November 2021. Many international companies around the world showcase their products and services to the Chinese market. Italy was present with three pavilions, organized by the Italian Trade Agency (ICE) and designed by the Swiss Architecture company VIRTUARCH.

A Huge Stage for Countries and Companies

When the CIIE opens its doors, the highest politicians in China and around the world pay their tribute. Renowned companies from many countries come to Shanghai to show what they have to offer to China. In 2017, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced at the Belt and Road Forum that China would hold an International Import Expo starting from 2018. The idea was to support trade liberalization and economic globalization and actively open the Chinese market. Since then, the CIIE has become a success story with massive coverage in the Chinese media.

Welcome to the world of Italy: Entry to the Jewelry Pavilion.

Three Pavilions. Three Industries. One Philosophy.

Italian companies were present at the CIIE at three pavilions focusing on different industries: Italian Jewelry, Italian Medical Devices, and Italian Environmental Technologies. Thanks to this topic-specific breakdown, visitors were able to get an excellent idea of what Italian companies have to offer. The challenge, however, was to unite the three topics and the different companies under one conceptual and visual roof. Mastering this challenge was the task of VIRTUARCH.

Same Design Language. Different Colors.

“To create the desired unity visually, we decided to use the same design language for all pavilions,” explains Davide Tomasi, project manager at VIRTUARCH. “For the Jewelry Pavilion, we chose red and bronze to highlight the luxury aspect. The Medical Pavilion was dominated by blue and white with chrome elements symbolizing high-tech. For the Environmental Technology Pavilion, we chose green and wood appearance to bring out a natural feeling”.

The Jewelry Pavilion is the biggest with 17 companies on 325 sqm.

11 companies displayed their product on 250 sqm at the Medical Pavilion. Visitors could find products of six companies at the Environmental Technologies Pavilion with its 150 sqm.

Put all parts together

One of the biggest challenges for VIRTUARCH in this project was not the design concept but to get all the key players together under one roof. “We had to take into account the individual wishes and needs of 34 companies without losing sight of the overall concept and at the same time meet the requirements of the trade fair”, Davide Tomasi, Project Manager of VIRTUARCH points out. The second big challenge was the time factor. VIRTUARCH had only one month to design according to the final requirements of the exhibitor. The construction period was ten days.

Individual displays at the Italian Jewelry Pavilion.

Space for companies to present themselves at the Medical Pavilion.

Looking into the Environmental Technology Pavilion

Project Management is Key

In addition to design, project management is one of VIRTUARCH’s core competencies. Successfully implementing the 3 Italian Pavilions under challenging conditions is an achievement met by many positive reactions from exhibitors and visitors alike.

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