Shang Hai World Expo 2010

With the epic World Expo 2010 at Shang Hai ending its six-month run in 10 days time, let’s look back on some of the highlights of the international fairs and pavilions.
Pictures were taken during a trip to the World Expo in June. To say that it was a truly enjoyable experience, maybe not, think of the crowd, the queues and the weather, but walking around the 5.28 square km area at night, the place is indeed an architecture heaven.

At the Denmark Pavilion – where the iconic ‘Little Mermaid’ statue was flown all the way from Copenhagen to Shanghai for the duration of the Expo 2010. It is the first time it had been moved from its perch since it was installed almost a century earlier.

The UK Pavilion in a dazzling cube-like structure. This majestic metal-and-glass edifice is formed by more than 60,000 slim and transparent acrylic rods containing seeds of different plants that were collected in a bio-diversity project.

The three-story Republic of Korea Pavilion is composed of 20 basic letters of the ‘ROK’ alphabet. The pavilion showcases blueprints of future cities along with the country’s most advanced technology and traditional culture.

The Nepal Pavilion is built with a large Buddhist pagoda as the centerpiece, surrounded by several folk houses representing styles from different periods. It showcases Nepalese artisans’ outstanding talents in art and architecture.

Featuring sculptured curving walls and a red ochre exterior, the Australia Pavilion’s appearance is inspired by the world-famous Ayer’s Rock. The color of the pavilion’s red facade is made from the use of a special kind of steel, which is commonly used in Australia cities. It will change colors responding to the temperature and humidity of Shanghai.

The Russian Pavilion

The interior has been designed as an ideal city resembling cites in the fairyland, which will give people the impression of a children’s paradise. It features 12 irregularly shaped towers in white, red and gold. A 15-meter-tall central building dubbed the “Civilization Cube” links the towers.

The Italy Pavilion – the design is inspired by the children’s game “pick-up sticks,” which is known as “Shanghai” in Italy. The rectangular pavilion has been laced with intersecting lines – representing pick-up sticks. It comprises 20 functional modules of different shapes, bounded by the “sticks.” They represent Italy’s 20 regions. The modules can be assembled into smaller structures.

Inside the Italian Pavilion – giant stiletto with shoes from Ferragamo, Giuseppe Zanotti and Prada on display. In the early weeks of the exhibition, an Italian shoe maker would demonstrate the making of Ferragamos shoes on the spot to showcase the fine craftsmanship of Italian shoe-making.

The France Pavilion. The structure as a whole is “wrapped into” a huge wire mesh that is made of a new type concrete material.

Louis Vuitton’s installation inside the France pavillion, trunks and suitcases with the iconic logos were displayed in a dreamy crystallize setting.

Statues and paintings from the museums of Paris.

The facade enveloping the Switzerland pavilion is a curtain of woven aluminium elements. LED lights comprised of energy sources, storage units and consuming units are incorporated into the facade. The energy produced is made visible in the form of flashes that are triggered by the pavilion surroundings, such as the sun or flashes made by visitor cameras. The storage of energy in each individual cell is also active at night, when the cells will trigger each other and produce the light saved during the daytime

The cable car in the pavilion can get visitors to the roof for a sightseeing of the classic Swiss scenery. The chair lift will lift visitors to the roof where a tranquil space close to nature and far away from the crowd is provided.

The Netherlands Pavilion, known as “Happy Street,” is constructed to resemble a figure eight – a lucky number that suggests fortune in Chinese culture. It is mainly composed of a 400-meter pedestrian street that curves in a figure of eight and 26 small houses along the street. Built completely on stilts, the street looks like a suspended roller coaster.

The Portugal Pavilion. Exterior curtain walls and interior attaching veneers of the pavilion are all decorate with walls of cork, a Portuguese-sourced, recyclable and environmentally friendly material.

The Spain Pavilion is designed to be a hand-weaved wicker basket structure supported by the steel framework inside. Touted as “The Basket”, it is “dressed” in more than 8,000 wicker panels in brown, beige, and black. Wicker weaving is a tradition in both Spain and China. The panels were handmade by craftsmen in Shandong Province, with each one in a unique design.

The Serbia Pavilion – design of the lego-like pavilion is based on traditional Serbian architecture but looks more modern and spacious. LED lights on the outer walls would sparkle at night.

The Finland Pavilion “Kirnu” is surrounded by a lake, appearing to float on the water. The design draws inspiration from Finnish nature. Elements reinterpreted in the pavilion include the shape of small rocks found on coastal islands, the surface of a fish, reflection on water, framed view of the sky and smell of tar on wood.

One of the more interesting African Pavilions- from Angola. Outer walls of the pavilion are decorated with African woodcarvings emphasizing national features of the country. Sculptures and paintings with rich ethnic characteristics are exhibited with high technological tools.

The Moroccan pavilion- inspired by the rich culture of Morocco, it showcases the legacy of traditional civilization and the art of life.

Inside the Moroccan pavilion.

The biggest spender of all (the pavilion costs a whooping $140 million to built) Saudi Arabia Pavilion features a fine centerpiece: a huge hanging boat shaped like a half moon. Date palms have been planted on the top deck of the boat, creating a hanging garden, and thus epitomizing the oases in the desert. What most visitors had queued up to 6-8 hours for is the experience of a “flight over the treasures of Saudi Arabia” – using immersion screen technology, multi-projected on a 1,600 square-meter screen- it is one of the world’ s largest.

Giant library inside one of the themed pavilions.

Lastly, the musical fountain at the World Expo site which overlooks the Lupu bridge and magnificent night scenery by the bay.