Saturday, August 28, 2010

Shanghai Expo - pavilions

The Shanghai World Expo was really "people mountain people sea." The average number of visitors per day was 428,000 in the three days I went. (The record so far is 568,300 on August 21st.) There were long lines in front of most pavilions. It took 2 hours to get in the China Pavilion with a reservation ticket, 3 hours to the UK Pavilion, 4 to the US Pavilion, and 6 to get in the $200 million Saudi Arabia Pavilion and see the immersive 3D movie multi-projected on a 1,600 square-meter screen.

The China Pavilion takes its inspiration from Dougong. Sadly, it is just a formal imitation of the traditional structural concept.

People waiting in line under the "crown" of the China Pavilion.

The line to get in the UK Pavilion.

Interestingly, some architects had anticipated the situation and tried to provide solutions for the long waiting time. One approach is to open up the ground floor, making it into some sort of public relax space. Visitors can wait in the shaded area before going up to the exhibitions, or just wander in and out without waiting in line.

Korea Pavilion designed by Mass Studies.

Interactive light installation on the open ground floor of Yung Ho Chang's Shanghai Corporate Pavilion.

Resting space under the "umbrella" of the Swiss Pavilion.

Another approach is to design a continuous linear route that allows the crowd to move constantly. This linearity is expressed architecturally as an elevated street (by Dutchman John K├Ârmeling) or a ramping circular loop (by BIG).

The "Happy Street" and Christmas lights of the Dutch Pavilion do remind me of Vegas.

The continuous loop in the Denmark Pavilion leads the movement smoothly from the inside to the outside. The bikes are only available during a very short time of the day though...

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