Trahan Architects designs USA pavilion with suspended cube for Expo 2025 Osaka


New Orleans architecture studio Trahan Architects has designed the USA pavilion for Expo 2025 Osaka, which will include a suspended cube surrounded by LED screens showing American landscapes.

The US Department of State and US ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel revealed images of the project, which will serve as a “cultural outpost” for the US during the six-month World Expo to be held in  Japan in 2025.

Trahan Architects pavilion for Expo 2025
Images of the US pavilion designed by Trahan Architects for Expo 2025 Osaka have been unveiled

Serving as a cultural outpost for the United States, the USA Pavilion at Expo 2025 celebrates the best of contemporary American architecture, innovation, culture, and industry,” said the team.

Trahan Architects led the pavilion’s design, which “invites visitors to be immersed in a vibrant experience of the United States”.

A rendering of a pavilion at night
It will consist of two wedge-shaped volumes surrounding a central plaza and a suspended cube

Renderings of the pavilion show a plaza located between two wedged-shaped volumes lined with oversized LED screens that span their length.

At the centre, a suspended translucent cube will link the two volumes and will sit just above visitors’ heads as they pass underneath.

Doors open on plaza level
Immersive exhibits will be located inside the building

The wooden floor of the plaza will gently arch as a homage to Japanese footbridges, according to the team.

Images of US urban and natural landscapes will be displayed on the LED screens, which will be reflected onto the cube.

People walking on boardwalk
The plaza will gently arch as a homage to Japanese footbridges

“At the centre of the USA Pavilion, bridging the two wings of the building, is a brilliantly illuminated translucent cube, which is suspended overhead, appearing weightless in its simplicity, anchoring the plaza,” said the team.

“Inside the ‘canyon’, visitors become fully immersed in vistas of the United States, juxtaposed with the mirrored surface of the cube suspended overhead, creating an opportunity for contemplation on the relationship between people, the built world, and the environment.”

Within the pavilion’s wedged-shaped volumes, additional immersive exhibits will “transport visitors to urban and natural locations across the United States and to outer space”.

Lobby and communal spaces, as well as a performance stage carved into an exterior wall, are also displayed in the images, with entrances pictured behind the cube.

Rendering of a covered walkway
LED screens that line the exterior walls will display US natural and urban landscapes

“Gathering across cultures and world regions to share ideas and learn from each other is essential to building a more understanding and human world. As architects, our mission is to bring people together in spaces that cultivate a greater sense of place and strengthen appreciation for our planet,” said Trahan Architects founder Trey Trahan.

“The USA Pavilion at Expo 2025 offers a rare opportunity to explore these critical issues and engage in a global conversation on the future of our environment and our cities.”

Lobby interior with stairs and American flag
Materials for the pavilion will be sourced from disassembled buildings from the Tokyo Olympics

Materials for the pavilion, including steel, tensile fabric, and HVAC plumbing, will be sourced from the disassembled structures of the Toyko Olympics, according to the team, with plans to store the materials again for future use after the close of Expo 2025.

“The USA Pavilion at Expo 2025 Osaka will be an embodiment of American spirit, celebrating innovation, openness, and global cultural exchange,” said US ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel.

Lobby interior clad in wood
Renderings show additional lobby and communal spaces on the building’s interior

“With two expansive wings designed to inspire visitors to the Expo and invite them inside, the USA Pavilion will encourage curiosity, and exploration, and offer opportunities to learn about all the United States has to offer.”

Expo 2025 is an upcoming world exposition of culture held in Osaka, Japan. Sanctioned by the Bureau International des Expositions, it will run from April to October 2025.

Architect Sou Fujimoto created the masterplan for the event.

Recently, Foster + Partners unveiled its design for the Expo of the Saudia Arabia pavilion, while architect Shigeru Ban released images of his triple-domed pavilion for the event.

Renders are courtesy of Trahan Architects


Project credits:

Project team: ES Global, BRC Imagination Arts, Alchemy International, HOODDesign Studio, Ricca, DotDash, and Studio Loutsis



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