A proposal by Vo Trong Nghia Architects to build towering bamboo structures modelled on lotus pods, has been approved for Vietnam's pavilion at the World Expo 2015 in Milan.

The pavilion design, which was inspired from the lotus pods that are popular in the Vietnamese countryside, will consist of a shallow pool of water and a series of bamboo structures that will encase trees.

Responding to the expo's theme "Feeding the Planet, Energy for life," the architects described the consumption of the lotus – Vietnam's typical flower – as an example for sustainable living.

"No part of the plant goes waste, with every part considered a delicacy," said the design team, adding, "The lotus is used in soups, salads, snacks, drinks as well as for natural medicine."

"The flower is proof that patience can turn difficulties into advantages," they added.

The two-storey exhibition space will be at the centre of the pavilion, surrounded on all sides by water and framed by 25 bamboo structures of different sizes.

Various stepping stones in the shape of lotus leaves will guide visitors towards the entrance, while screen walls around the perimeter will fold back to bring natural ventilation into the exhibition areas. The lightweight bamboo elements will be prefabricated, allowing the pavilion to be easily disassembled and recycled once the expo is over.

"The architect's role in designing the pavilion is to reduce its impact," said the team.

"From this building, we can see the Vietnamese love of nature, which will be shared with the whole world," they added.

Vietnam is one out of the 145 nations participating at the Milan Expo in 2015, which will take place from May 1 to October 31. Other proposals unveiled so far include a beehive-inspired pavilion from the UK and a three-dimensional timber lattice from France. The event embraces technology, innovation, culture, traditions and creativity and how they relate to food and diet.

Expo 2015 will further develop themes introduced at earlier Expos (for example: water at Expo 2008 in Zaragoza) in the light of new global scenarios and emerging issues, while focusing primarily on the right to healthy, secure and sufficient food for all the world's inhabitants. Vietnam has been a part of the Expos since 2000.-VNA