Wolfgang Buttress to design UK Milan Expo pavilion

Milan Expo 2015: a team led by artist Wolfgang Buttress has reportedly beaten a shortlist of prominent architects to design the UK pavilion for the World Expo 2015 in Milan, with plans for a "pulsating" beehive structure.

According to the Architect's Journal, Nottingham-based sculptor and painter Wolfgang Buttress is poised to win the competition pending a mandatory standstill period, and will be named designer of the pavilion by Prince Harry in Rome next week.

A representative from the UK government's Business, Innovation and Skills department did not deny rumours that the artist-led team, which also features architecture firms BDP and Simmonds Studio, has been chosen ahead of designers Barber & Osgerby and Paul Cocksedge, and architects Amanda Levete and Allford Hall Monaghan Morris.

Beehive-inspired pavilion to represent UK at Milan Expo 2015

Other finalists include architect Asif Khan, 2013 World Interior of the Year winner David Kohn and Gardens of the Bay landscape architect Grant Associates.

The concept, entitled BE, comprises a "pulsating virtual hive that will highlights the plight of the honeybee" to offer visitors an "immersive sensory experience" creating a "lasting flavour of the British landscape".

Visitors enter the hive-like structure, which will "pulsate, buzz and glow according to signals from a real hive", through an orchard and wildflower meadow.

The Milan Expo will take place between May and October 2015 with the theme "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life" and will showcase designs centred around sustainability, technology and food.

Last week, France unveiled its pavilion design with a latticed wooden structure that will be used to grow food crops. China has also unveiled its plans for a building with a wavy roof and indoor field.

Clarification: An earlier version of this story named Paul Smith as one of the designers on the Buttress led UK pavilion team. Paul Smith was listed on the proposal but has not yet confirmed involvement with the project.