Shanghai | Expo2010 site visit I

Shanghai World Expo 2010 | January 19, 2010

With less than 100 days before the opening of the World Expo, pavilions are getting in shape. Although structures are far from finished, the rough outlines of the future architectural experiences become visible – even so that these, to us, are more exciting than their expected state of completion. No cladding, no finished interiors, no green-designers’ draping, no visitors; only construction workers toiling everywhere. A MovingCities impression of the German, Swiss, French, Polish, Romanian and Luxembourg pavilion.

When visiting the Expo2010 site, in December 2008, China’s exhibition hall was still under construction. Today the gigantic red structure, a building three times taller than any of the other Expo pavilions, is glimmering and towering above all surrounding pavilions, almost like a oil-rig in a wild sea of uncompleted structures. Our recent site visit, last Tuesday, took off in the German pavilion, in the heart of the European section of the Expo site. Ansgar Halbfas, supervisor of the planning and construction of the exhibition [by milla und partner] in the German Pavilion, showed us the building, its interior and afterwards urged us to wander around the expo site.

As for now, it is too early to make an assessment of the architecture of the national and thematic pavilions as these are in different stages of development: some are nearly done, some will change their appearance after membranes are put on place, others are still hiding behind a screen of scaffolding. So, before one can see how renderings match reality, we are intrigued by the momentary impression, the in-between state of architecture when structures are uninhabited and unprogrammed. While territorial architectural tensions thicken the expo-air, we stayed afloat in a pure mess of materials, steel, concrete and paint.

We’ll be following up this week with more pavilions.

Shanghai World Expo 2010 site | January 19, 2010

German pavilion | architect: Schmidhuber + Kaindl / exhibition design: milla und partner

Swiss pavilion | architect: Buchner Bründler Architects

French pavilion | architect: Jacques Ferrier Architects

Polish pavilion | architect: WWA Architects

Romanian pavilion | architect: SC M&C Strategy Development

Luxembourg pavilion | architect: Francois Valentiny

Pictures by movingcities.org

* With special thanks to Ansgar Halbfas, supervisor of the planning and construction of the exhibition in the German Pavilion.

For more in-depth coverage and background to today’s post, check MovingCities new expo2010-tag and the following links:

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