Danish Pavilion at Expo 2010 by BIG

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Shanghai Expo 2010: Architects Bjarke Ingels Group have won a competition to design the Danish Pavilion for Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China.

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The pavilion will incorporate 1500 bicycles for use by visitors during the Expo.

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A bathing pool at the centre of the pavilion will be filled with sea water from Copenhagen harbour, shipped to Shanghai.

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The Little Mermaid statue from Copenhagen harbour will be shipped to Shanghai and installed in a bathing pool at the centre of the pavilion, which will be filled with sea water also shipped from Copenhagen to Shanghai.

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The 3000 square metre pavilion will be made from white, painted steel and manufactured at a Chinese shipyard.

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The facade will be perforated with with a pattern that the architects claim "reflects a Danish city silhouette".

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Here's some more information from BIG:

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The Danish pavilion should not only exhibit the Danish virtues. Through interaction, the visitors are able to actually experience some of Copenhagen’s best attractions – the city bike, the harbor bath, the nature playground and an ecological picnic.

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The bike is a venacular means of transportation and a national symbol – common to Denmark and China. In recent years it had a very different fate in the two countries. While Copenhagen is striving to become the world’s leading bike city, heavy motor traffic is rising in Shanghai, where the car has become a symbol of wealth.

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With the pavilion we relaunch the bike in Shanghai as a symbol of modern lifestyle and sustainable urban development. The pavilion’s 1500 city bikes are offered for general use to the visitors during EXPO 2010. After the world exhibition it can be moved and placed in i.e. Peoples Parc as a transferium for the bikes of Shanghai.

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Both Shanghai and Copenhagen are harbor cities. However, the polluting activities in the harbor have been replaced by harbor parcs and cultural institutions in Denmark, and as a result the water has become clean enough to swim in. In the heart of the pavilion lies a harbor bath, which is filled up with seawater from Copenhagen harbour shipped to Shanghai in a tank vessel. The Chinese can swim in the bath and not only hear about the clean water but actually feel and taste it. The Little Mermaid is sitting in the waterline of the harbor bath exactly as she is in Copenhagen harbor. It is the original Mermaid visiting China as a concrete example of the idea that the Danish pavilion contains the real experience of the Danish city life.

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While the Little Mermaid is in Shanghai, her place in Langelinie will be occupied by three trendsetting Chinese artists and their interpretation of the sculpture. The absence of the Mermaid will increase her value as an attraction for the Danes and in this period it will be possible to follow her life in Shanghai via a live transmission.

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The pavilion is constructed as a monolithic self-supporting construction in white-painted steel, manufactured at a Chinese shipyard. Prefabrication will affect to an uncomplicated transportation, effective samlingsproces, rational dismantling and transfer. The synthetic light-blue coating used in Denmark for bicycle paths will cover the roof. Inside, the floor will appear in epoxy, the light-blue bicycle path respectively.

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The sequence of events at the exhibition takes place between two parallel facades – the internal and external. The internal is closed and contains different functions of the pavilion. The width varies and is defined by the programme of the inner space. The external facade, pavilion’s façade outwards, is made of perforated steel that represents/reflects a Danish city silhouette. In the evening time, the indoor activity of the pavilion will be illuminated for passers-by.

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CODE : XPO
PROJECT : Danish Pavilion EXPO 2010
TYPE : COMMISION
SIZE : 3.000m2
CLIENT : Erhvervs- og Byggestyrelsen
COLLABORATORS: 2+1, Arup AGU
LOCATION : Shanghai, China
STATUS : Ongoing

Partner-in-Charge: Bjarke Ingels
Project Architect: Niels Lund Petersen
Project team: Jan Magasanik, Kamil Szoltysek, Sonja Reisinger

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Posted on Thursday, September 25th, 2008 at 2:57 pm by . See our copyright policy. Before commenting, please read our comments policy.

  • http://www.rebeccapasternack.com Rebecca Pasternack

    I love the idea of bringing The Little Mermaid sculpture to China and putting a Chinese artistic interpretation in her place in Denmark. (“her place in Langelinie will be occupied by three trendsetting Chinese artists and their interpretation of the sculpture.”) Clever way to remind laypeople in Denmark of the Danish Pavilion all the way in China. (by the way, who knew that the real not disney movie version of the little mermaid was such a sad story? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Little_Mermaid)

    Bringing fresh clean water from the Copenhagen harbor also sends a clear message to China about the benefits of removing pollution from harbor cities.

    Painting a a synthetic light-blue coating on the roof (which is used in Denmark for bicycle paths) is another good connection back to Denmark. Promoting the use of the bicycle in China again also sends a good message about sustainable methods of transportation.

    Overall – excellent use of architecture to promote connections between Denmark and China.

  • winx

    Dear Rebecca. The fresh water was never brought to china. You cannot swim in the pavillion and the three chinese artists have been reduced to Ai Wei Wei who put up a screen in the original spot in Copenhagen transmitting the mermaid in Shanghai…not really an art project I should say.