Tree of Life, World Expo, Italy

As part of Expo 2015 ACT lighting design was commissioned by Balich Worldwide Shows to create and develop the visual and lighting design of an iconic installation, Tree of Life – Albero della Vita. Designed by Marco Balich and Studio Gioforma, artistic director of the Italian Pavilion of Expo 2015, Balich was inspired by the drawing Michelangelo Buonarroti created for the piazza del Campidoglio in Rome. The structure was built by Orgoglio Brescia and Koert Vermeulen joined the creative team as Lighting Designer / Director of Mise-en-Scene.

The tree with it’s vertical, symbolic gesture is both an Italian and international icon representing nature as a source of life, but also symbolising the many roots and metaphorical branches of the Italian excellence. This iconic structure symbolically offers its seeds and fruits to Italy and the entire world.

Placed in front of the Italian Pavilion, the monument was installed in the middle of Lake Arena, where visitors were immersed into breathtaking events. The Tree of Life interactive structure, with an inner skeleton made of steel and an outer cover in wood, is over 30-metres high and on top of the gigantic trunk stands a hat that simulates the intertwined branches of a tree, with a diameter of 45-metres.

Visitors were able to not only enjoy the spectacle from the exterior, but also had the chance to climb inside the structure to discover more surprises. For this monument, with its advanced technology, constantly illuminated with LED lights, Koert Vermeulen and ACT lighting design created an original visual scenography to produce genuine dynamic effects through a play of light, video, water, fireworks, as well as bubbles and sounds. The Tree of Life also changed as the hours went by, truly becoming the centre for many of the events in the Pavilion’s extensive schedule.