The Shanghai World Expo has been underway for a week now in Shanghai, and the discovery of thousands of interesting and mind-boggling attractions both on the Expo grounds and in the marvelous city of Shanghai has begun. One of the most successful aspects of this year’s Expo has been the overwhelming interest in making the regional and country-specific pavilions something to remember. The creative architecture and insight that went into designing and ultimately constructing the pavilions has paid off in a big way– let’s take a look at some of the hottest and most talked about pavilions.
The Seed Cathedral, by the United Kingdom (image left). This lovely structure is more than it first appears. Each tiny shoot off the orbital structure has a tiny image of a seed at the end of it, with the millions of seed shoots making up the entire round object. Quite the environmental statement from the UK. Suspended over a reflective pool, the design shows the fragility of nature’s great design as well as its massiveness when seen on a large scale. This structure is one of the Expo’s most talked about.
Sticking to Europe, the German structure, called Balanceity is as modern and clean-lined as many have some to expect from German design and engineering. The white, multi-angled structure may not be as creative or involved as the British pavilion, but it just might win “most indicative of its country’s culture and momentum.”
Afghanistan’s Heart of Asia (image right) themed traditional structure hopes to inspire people to think of the country as their pavilion’s tag line suggests, “Land of Opportunity and Resources.” The structure is reminiscent of traditional Middle Eastern and Central Asian architecture, including the beautiful blue tile work that graces many buildings in the Heart of Asia.
The Palestinian structure, themed Olive City, Peace City, hopes to inspire people to think of the region as forward moving and working towards a resolution. In this way, the Expo is an amazing phenomenon that brings the world together.
The China pavilion, called the Crown of the East is themed, Chinese Wisdom in Urban Development, and is visible from nearly anywhere on the expo compound, is a beautiful and inspired piece of architecture.
The Russian New Russia, City and Citizens structure (image left) is hailed as one of the most creative and yet true to the culture. Its design looks like a fairy tale castle, with a modern twist using modern materials. It stands out among the other pavilions as one that could actually be built and utilized in any major city in Russia today.
Finally, the Spanish pavilion has received the most head scratches of any on the Expo compound. Its brown, textured hull is shaped almost haphazardly out of actual wicker panels, and the design some now call ‘the basket’ has inspired many to ponder the meaning of their theme, “Form the City of our Parents, to the City of our Children.”