Five Levels of Biodiversity


In Colombia , the natural resources that feed its biodiversity are not distributed across latitudes, but rather, altitudes. This was the key rationale behind the pavilion’s ‘pisos termicos’, the thermal levels that formed the theme of Colombia’s space.


The tour began with a flight of stairs, culminating with entry into the first room. Here you found a table in the shape of Colombia and could view a video on the geological origins of the country, seeing the meeting point between three mountain ranges and two seas.
Colombia is second in the world in terms of biodiversity per square kilometer, being home to over 50,000 species of flora and fauna. It is characterized by five climatic zones, which are explained in the different spaces of the Pavilion.
At the entrance of each module, there was a panel featuring Colombian celebrities representing the worlds of arts, sports and culture, who were born in that climate zone.


A floral kaleidoscope
In the exhibition space for the hot weather zone (below 1,000 meters), a video wall portrayed the zone’s characteristics. An area of 900,000 square kilometers, it represents 80% of the mainland and the islands of Colombia.
In the next room there are three areas, representing the temperate climate, the cold zone and the paramo (alpine tundra ecosystems). The temperate zone was characterized by coffee plantations. This was also where the banana plantations that inspired Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ Hundred Years of Solitude, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, are found.  In the cold zone, the temperature dropped to 15 ° Celsius, and the visitor could view videos detailing the characteristics of this climate.


The Paramo guards the world’s water
The visitor continued on its upward path through the thermal plains of Colombia, reaching the alpine tundra ecosystems, where the most important water sources in the country are located. Here the temperature dropped to 10 ° Celsius and re-created a scenario that paid homage to water, whose movement was created with the use of sound waves coming from a loudspeaker.
In the last room you could reach more than 5,000 meters above sea level. The trip ended on the highest peak of Colombia, the Cristobal Colon peak, the highest mountain in the world located by the sea, with a temperature of about 0 ° Celsius; Here, visitors had the experience of being on a mountaintop in Colombia.
From this peak visitors then descended. The video projects images of the areas visited, much like an elevator traveling down through Colombia’s diverse altitude zones. At the bottom of the stairs was the final and in many ways most exciting room. Here we found an auditorium with a music video transmiting a melody composed by Carlo Vives, performed by artists from each of the five pisos termicos.

Discover the Colombia Pavilion in the Expo Milano 2015 archive