Posts tagged as 'World Expo'

'Happy Sheep' by ZUS, now in production by Lensvelt

Sheep seem to make people happy. Or, at least, the sculptural ones do that were commissioned for the Dutch Pavilion at Expo 2010 Shanghai. Designed by Rotterdam-based ZUS (Zone Urbaines Sensibles), the four-legged flock proved such a success with visitors to the exhibition that they have now been put into production by design manufacturer Lensvelt.

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'Dream Cube' by ESI Design, photo by Basil Childers

The New York based architectural practice ESI Design realised the Shanghai Corporate Pavilion (SCP) which is characterised by its illuminated façade – an unique 3D display surface comprised of a 65 km long grid made from plastic tubes, each spaced half a meter apart with LEDs every ten inches. Heart of the pavilion is the Dream Cube Control Room, an immersive, interactive 360-degree theatre experience where the visitors’ collective movements trigger changes to millions of LED lights on the Dream Cube’s façade.

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Swiss furniture-design duo Thomas Wütrich and Yves Raschle, aka INCH Furniture: 'It’s important for us that our design work is contemporary, but that it’s not trendy'; photo Christian Knörr

Shanghai. Have you been yet? With the Chinese boom-metropolis currently hosting Expo 2010, offering architourists an (at times embarrassing) embarrassment of architectural statements by over 200 countries, now is the time to go. For a furniture designer to be commissioned to create the seating for their nation’s expo pavilion is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Design duo Thomas Wütrich and Yves Raschle, aka INCH Furniture, were lucky enough to receive such an opportunity when Swiss Pavilion Architects Buchner Bruendler invited them to design a furniture collection for the project. The result is a series of sublime pieces, whose considered, sober beauty looks set to make them contemporary classics.

Architonic met up with INCH at this year’s Salone del Mobile in Milan to discuss their Shanghai project.

'Shanghai Chair' by INCH Furniture; photo Mark Niedermann

How did you receive the commission to design the furniture for the Swiss Pavilion?

The main topic of the Swiss Pavilion is sustainability. The overall topic is ‘Better City, Better Life’, and within that Switzerland talks about the contrast between city and nature. So, sustainability was one of the criteria when the architects, Buchner Bruendler, were looking for designers. The second was that the designers must be Swiss. Add to this that our furniture is produced in Indonesia – that is, also in Asia – and we’d hit the nail on the head.

What was the process of working with the architects like?

We knew them before, so it was a personal kind of relationship. We met them every couple of weeks and they would talk a lot about their vision, which was very important, about how the pavilion should look architecturally. They knew and liked our furniture, so we started looking for the right answer furnishing-wise to the pavilion. It was a very personal, yet very enriching, conversation that we had with the architects.

'Shanghai Lounge Chair' by INCH Furniture; photo Mark Niedermann

It doesn’t happen very often that designers and architects have that close of a relationship, where they are both defining a space – architects using structure to define a space, with designers responding to that structure and also helping to define the way the space is experienced.

Well, it was more common years ago. Architects made a house and then furniture was designed specifically for it. It’s a pity that it doesn’t happen so often these days, because every architectural project is furnished at the end, so if it’s a collaborative project it can work out really well for both architects and designers.


continue the interview here

Mon 10.5.

Denmark’s EXPO-Pavilion in Shanghai by BIG (DK)

Posted by Nora Schmidt on 10.05.2010 - Tagged as: , , ,

Denmark's EXPO-Pavilion by BIG, photo by Iwan Baan

She has been beheaded, painted and blown up, but this time it was not some troublemakers who kidnapped the original Little Mermaid, Copenhagen’s beloved landmark, from her rock. From May til October visitors of the World EXPO in Shanghai will be able to see her elegantly sitting in Denmark’s pavilion designed by Bjarke Ingels Group.

The actual attraction though is the conceptual background of the pavilion. Denmark donated 1001 bikes to the city of Shanghai in order to focus on an ecological urban development of the world’s fast growing mega-cities.

Denmark's EXPO-Pavilion by BIG, photo by Iwan Baan

“We weren’t really finding an obvious hook for our pavilion until we started looking at the recent urban development of Shanghai and Copenhagen. This is a photo of Shanghai from 30 years ago: broad boulevards jam packed with bicycles. Only 2 kinds of cars in Shanghai back then: Shanghai no 1 and Shanghai no 2.

With the massive economic boom and urban explosion everybody wants a car, the streets are congested with traffic jams, and the bicycle has even become forbidden in some parts of town.

In the same period of time, Copenhagen has been creating more bicycle lanes and reducing car traffic. The bicycle has become a symbol of a sustainable city and a healthy lifestyle.

We have developed multiple species of bikes to move not only ourselves but our kids and our stuff around as well.

We even have a so-called City Bike that visitors can borrow for free and move around town before they return.

We thought: Why don’t we relaunch the bicycle as something attractive in Shanghai. We’ll donate 1001 City Bikes to Shanghai that they can keep after the Expo.” BIG explains.

Denmark's EXPO-Pavilion by BIG, photo by Iwan Baan

“The pavilion is designed as a traffic loop created by the motion of city bikes and pedestrians tied in a knot. Over 300 free city bikes located upon the roofscape, offer the visitors a chance to experience the Danish urban lifestyle which includes biking everywhere. The loops are connected in two places. Coming from the inside, the visitors can move out onto the roof, pick up a bike and re‐visit the exhibition by bike as the outdoor cycle path slips into the interior and runs along the entire exhibition before exiting onto the EXPO grounds. The sequence of events at the exhibition takes place between two parallel facades – the internal and external. The internal is closed and contains different functions of the pavilion. The width varies and is defined by the programme of the inner space. The pavilion’s external façade is made of perforated steel. In the evening time, the façade becomes a sequenced instrument of interactive light illuminating the passers‐by.”

Denmark's EXPO-Pavilion by BIG, photo by Hanne Hvattun

“The pavilion is a monolithic structure in white painted steel which keeps it cool during the Shanghai summer sun due to its heat‐reflecting characteristics. The roof is covered with a light blue surfacing texture, known from Danish cycle paths. Inside, the floor is covered with light epoxy and also features the blue cycle path where the bikes pass through the building. The steel of the facade is perforated in a pattern that reflects the actual structural stresses that the pavilion is experiencing making it a 1:1 stress test. The blue cycle path and white concrete surfaces will further define the arrival and exit areas.”

Denmark's EXPO-Pavilion by BIG, photo by Iwan Baan

PS: By the way, while the mermaid is in Shanghai her place in Copenhagen will be replaced by Ai Wei Wei’s multimedia artwork, including a live broadcast of the statue in Shanghai.


to the BIG profile @ Architonic

UK Pavilion by Heatherwick Studio

The London based architectural practice Heatherwick Studio, founded in 1994 by Thomas Heatherwick, recently unveiled the UK Pavilion for the World Expo in Shanghai.

Held under the auspices of the Bureau International des Expositions, the Shanghai Expo will be the largest the world has ever seen. Staged on a 5,28 km2 city centre site beside the Huangpu River, it features pavilions representing the ideas and cultural and commercial ambitions of more than 200 countries and international organisations.

UK Pavilion by Heatherwick Studio

Get here some information about the remarkable optic fibre facade of the Seed Cathedral in the center of the Pavilion:

“The Seed Cathedral sits in the centre of the UK Pavilion’s site, 20 metres in height, formed from 60,000 slender transparent fibre optic rods, each 7.5 metres long and each encasing one or more seeds at its tip. During the day, they draw daylight inwards to illuminate the interior. At night, light sources inside each rod allow the whole structure to glow. As the wind moves past, the building and its optic “hairs” gently move to create a dynamic effect. Heatherwick previously experimented with texture and architecture at a much smaller scale with his Sitooterie projects. The Seed Cathedral is the ultimate development of this. Inside the darkened inner sanctum of the Seed Cathedral, the tips of the fibre optic filaments form an apparently hovering galaxy of slim vitrines containing a vast array of embedded seeds. The seeds have been sourced from China’s Kunming Institute of Botany, a partner in Kew Royal Botanic Gardens’ Millennium Seed Bank Project. Visitors will pass through this tranquil, contemplative space, surrounded by the tens of thousands of points of light illuminating the seeds.”

UK Pavilion by Heatherwick Studio

UK Pavilion by Heatherwick Studio

UK Pavilion by Heatherwick Studio

more information about the UK Pavilion @ Architonic

to the Heatherwick Studio profile @ Architonic

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