Shanghai EXPO 2010 | site visit II

Shanghai EXPO 2010 | Austrian pavilion | January 19, 2010

A second series of snapshots from our recent visit to the Shanghai Expo2010 construction site (check part I) in which we cover the Danish, Dutch, Russian, British and Austrian pavilion. Besides their obvious identification as national pavilions, some of these structures have an additional thematic names: in today’s case Welfairytales (DK) and Happy Street (NL), in yesterday’s Greenopolis (RO), The Sensual City (FR) and balancity (DE).

To finish or not to finish, that is the question haunting the last hundred days before the opening of the Shanghai Expo on May 1, 2010. Earlier this month the ShanghaiDaily newspaper reported that overall there is “90% built, but clock is ticking”:

The Shanghai World Expo organizer has finished 90% of construction at the Expo site but “time is still urgent” for the rest of the work, which needs to get done by the end of March, a senior official said yesterday.

While yesterday Urbanatomy spread the unsourced, but enough to be breaking, news that “Pavilions running out of time”:

Stop Press! Breaking news. It has just been announced that as many as 20% of the pavilions that will be exhibiting at the Expo will not be in a state ready to receive visitors come May.

What does this mean? That in the two weeks between these two news snippets someone realized that 10% of the alleged finished constructions weren’t finished at all, and will not be? Or that out of nowhere someone decided to add more pavilions to the site and construction of these have just begun? Or that all pavilions will be finished but some will not be able to receive visitors? Most likely none of these ever happened and these news items just add to a media instigated media-frenzy which is an unfortunate and inevitable part of these large-scale undertakings.

Well, this frenzy is probably good news for architectural bookmakers (do they exist?). We would put our money on the news that on May 1st someone will announce that all buildings are finished and ready to receive visitors.

Danish pavilion | architect: BIG

Dutch pavilion | architect: John Körmeling

Russian pavilion | architect: P.A.P. ER architectural team

British pavilion | architect: Thomas Heatherwick

Austrian pavilion | architect: SPAN & Zeytinoglu

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For more in-depth coverage and background check MovingCities new expo2010-tag.

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