International expositions have long pushed boundaries in design and engineering, and will be the case with the 2015 Expo Milano in May and 147 countries worldwide will share culture through construction in the form of innovative pavilions and installations. Representatives from the U.S. Pavilion—titled American Food 2.0 and aims to discuss the global food supply chain—recently shared a behind-the-scenes look at one of the architectural features: a smart-glass roof canopy.
The application seeks to align with the expo’s broader theme—“Feed the Planet, Energy for Life”—by functioning as a digital interface that encourages visitor interaction. The canopy comprises 312 glass panels, each measuring 3.3 feet by 9.8 feet, and totals roughly 10,000 square feet in area. The nonprofit representing the pavilion, Friends of the U.S. Pavilion Milano 2015, says that this application will be the largest smart-glass roof structure to date, with the panels planned to transition in seconds from opaque to transparent states in response to environmental conditions as well as prompts from visitors via a touchscreen.