- Title: CHINA: Spain and German unveil World Expo pavilions
- Date: 26th March 2010
- Summary: EXTERIOR OF GERMAN PAVILION WORKERS WORKING ON FAÃ‡ADE OF PAVILION WORKERS WORKING WORKERS WORKING ON FAÃ‡ADE GERMAN ENGINEERS CHATTING
- Embargoed: 10th April 2010 13:00
- Location: China
- Country: China
- Topics: Science / Technology
- Reuters ID: LVA8B94UL56YFE08DA3J0R8LLY3B
- Story Text: Spain and German unveil their national pavilions for the Shanghai World Expo, more than a month ahead of the gala event that starts on May 1.
Germany and Spain both unveiled their Shanghai World Expo pavilions to the media on Thursday (March 25), more than a month ahead of the opening of the gala event on May 1.
The Spanish pavilion combines a structural steel frame with a faÃ§ade made entirely from traditional wicker material.
The result is a structure that looks wavy in form from far and very organic and natural when viewed up close.
Architects for the pavilion said the design has a fusion of Spanish and Chinese elements with the wicker panels arranged to form various abstract forms of Chinese characters such as "sun" or "moon" as a poetic reading of the connection between the East and West.
Working with the wicker panels has been a challenge for the architects as they created their different shades by boiling them via a natural darkening process.
The fire and weather proof wicker panels was chosen because it was made from a sustainable and natural material that could be handcrafted and produced locally.
"We think wicker is a material that is this fantastic quality of being the same in Spain as in China. It is very useful and handmade. So we thought it is like a bridge showing that Spain and China are very united and similar," Benedetta Tagliabue, architect of the Spanish Pavilion told Reuters TV.
8,200 panels cover the faÃ§ade of the Spanish pavilion and they have been sourced from China's eastern Shandong province where there were strung together by local artisans.
"The pavilion is very complicated. It's a structure that dances," said Tagliabue. Normally, the structure is what supports a building. But in this case we have a structure with a very dynamic shape, almost with movement. It hasn't been easy building this. It's a complicated geometry."
Inside the pavilion, Spanish organisers promise a very cultural and traditional experience with one hall showing off a multimedia show by acclaimed Spanish filmmaker Bigas Luna.
The German pavilion is a sculpture-like steel structure that is prides itself on its multi-dimensional and multi-functional aspects.
The theme for the German pavilion is "balancity" which organisers say is a way to showcase modern Germany as a multifaceted and innovative nation.
Dietmar Schmitz, Commissioner General for the German pavilion: "The most important thing for us is to contribute to the exhibition 'better city, better life'. There are many possibilities but we decided to present a balanced city - hence the name of the German pavilion "balancity". Our message is that it's worth living in a city that is balanced between new and keeping the traditional, between the individual and the community between innovation and tradition - all these elements can contribute to making a city worth living in."
The "balancity" theme works on both the physical as well as metaphorical aspects of the German pavilion with a futuristic architectural design in sync with its showcase of both natural and manmade things.
Visitors to the German pavilion will be able to journey through various halls with different themes in the pavilion.
They will experience multimedia presentations in the 'Tunnel", flowers and nature in the "Garden", innovation and technology in the "Depot" and finally reach the climax of the pavilion, an interactive multimedia show at the "Energy Source".
At the "Energy Source", visitors will enter a huge three-storey theatre room where a sphere made from thousands of LED's will showcase images and visuals and react to the movements and sounds from the audience.
The Spanish and German pavilions are one of the first to be showcased to the media ahead of the Shanghai World Expo that will run from May 1 to October 31 this year.
Construction is speeding up on the grounds of the expo site as workers and engineers race to complete their respective national pavilions in time for the opening day of May 1.
The Chinese are expecting the expo gala to draw up to 70 million visitors in an event that is at the top of China's business and political agenda for 2010.
While the World Expo lags some distance behind the Olympics by virtually every measure; international cachet, political significance, advertising dollars and television viewership, this is not deterring the Shanghai organisers who have splashed out more than 44 billion U.S. dollars to build the 1,300 acre Expo site and improve the city infrastructure for the event.
Banners with the slogan "Better City, Better Life" dot the city, and organisers said they expect the theme of sustainable urbanisation to be the key component of an Expo held in Shanghai, a booming metropolis that is also China's financial capital.
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