If you’re a die-hard fan of chocolate, you’re going to love this post. This building attracts around 10 million visitors annually, and the admission is free. But that’s not the only good thing. You can eat for free too! And the best part? It’s made entirely of chocolate!
Designed by the Italian architecture firm Carlo Ratti Associati (CRA), the building is located at Fico Eataly World, which is a theme park committed to serving Italian cuisine in Bologna, Italy. Thanks to the high-end chocolatier Venchi and the brains of the designers, people can get to enjoy a visiting a chocolate pavilion with edible walls.
The building even uses facial recognition to measure how the visitors will react while eating chocolate. Who wouldn’t want to visit a pavilion made of 30,000 pralines of different varieties?
The project was led by the brilliant Carlo Ratti, who is the founding partner of the CRA and the director of the Senseable City Lab at MIT.
Visitors are allowed to get their own chocolates from the exterior wall, which is 10 feet long and 20 feet tall. Inside, there’s a screen that captures the visitors’ emotions while taking a bite of the delicious chocolate. The interaction design studio DotDotDot developed the screen which uses facial recognition. The studio made sure that the screen could analyze every person’s movement of their eyes, lips, eyebrows, nostrils, and forehead. Then, after the analyzation, their face will be projected on the interior walls. How cool is that?
Carlo Ratti said they wanted to build a chocolate wall for the park because it would create minimal waste. According to him, he never liked the idea of using significant amounts of construction materials for exhibitions. After all, they only end up in landfills after a few months. This is why his team thought that a pavilion is better dismantled if people actually take part in the dismantling by eating it.
Speaking of minimal waste, let’s talk about another eco-friendly type of building. Murray Grove suggested that using timber for taller buildings is way better than using concrete especially since the latter is already the one to blame for five percent of global greenhouse-gas emissions. And even that number is already significant if we consider our current environmental status.
The idea to use wood for buildings has a lot of potential because the tools used for wood processing nowadays (like planers, log splitters, and more) are cheaper compared to before. Buildings constructed with wood have been completed already, such as the Forte Building in Melbourne and a 14-story apartment block in Bergen.
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It’s clear that architects are becoming more creative and concerned with the planet nowadays. And it’s a good thing! One way to show our support is to visit the buildings and let people know about them.