Spanish Pavilion at Shanghai Expo 2010 by EMBT


Shanghai Expo 2010: architectural photographer Iñigo Bujedo Aguirre is at Shanghai Expo 2010 this week and will be sending us some of the first photos of the completed pavilions, starting with the Spanish Pavilion by Miralles Tagliabue (EMBT).

EMBT's pavilion has a wicker facade over a steel structure.

The Expo opens on 1 May and runs until 30 October.

All photographs are copyright Iñigo Bujedo Aguirre/View and are used with permission.

More from Iñigo Bujedo Aguirre at Shanghai Expo 2010 over the next few days.

Here's some text from EMBT's website:

“Only a few months following the opening ceremony for the International Exhibition in Zaragoza 2008, word has already come around of the Shanghai Expo 2010, which aims to be the greatest and most sustainable environmentally, but at the same time the most technological.

"In the hard task of making everything coexist, the pavilions will divide themselves between technological choices (…) and the sustainable ones, like the warped fabric made of steel and wicker of Spanish pavilion.

The Barcelonese studio Miralles Tagliabue (EMBT) won the public contest. 
The project proposed by EMBT consists on developing the handicraft technique of the wicker into a practice of construction. With this goal in mind, the universal language of the material works to build a bridge between East and West, and among Spain and China.

"With the volumetric, material, and structural inspirations of a wicker basket array, the void of the stands will mold a pavilion in which tubular metallic supports will sustain a wicker grid that will filter the light and function as a climatic membrane that wraps the pavilion.”

Text by Anatxu Zabalbeascoa, 
El Pais Babelia 03.11.07


Prize: Competition, jan 2007, First prize

Client: SEEI (Sociedad Estatal para Exposiciones Internacionales, S.A.)

Architects: Benedetta Tagliabue, Miralles Tagliabue EMBT

Collaborators: Makoto Fukuda, Salvador Gilabert , Guile Amadeu , Francesca Ciprini,Gabriele Rotelli, Gitte Kjaer, Michael González, Jan Kokol, Natalia Leone, Judith Plas, Mattia Cappelletti

Basic project 2007

Project directors: Makoto Fukuda, Salvador Gilabert

Collaborators: Gabriele Rotelli,Guile Amadeu, Francesca Ciprini, Mattia Cappelletti, Manuel Rearte, Johane Ronsholt, Kazuya Morita, Gian Mario Tonossi, Olivia Kostifa, Cesar Trujillo, Carles Pastor, Marta Martinez, Noelia Pickard

Executive projet 2008

Architects: Benedetta Tagliabue/Miralles Tagliabue EMBT

Project director: Salvador Gilabert, Igor Peraza (Architect on Site)

Collaborators: Guile Amadeu , Mattia Cappelletti, Vaiva Simoliunaite, Jack O'Kelly, Gabriele Rotelli, Giuseppe Maria Fanara, Stefan Geenen, Paola Lodi, Cristina Salvi, Mireia Soriano, Travis McCarra, Stefan Geenen, Lin Chia Ping, Lee Shun Chieh, Daniela Bortz, Barbara Asnaghi, Roberto Stefano Naboni, Carolina Carvalho, Maria Francesca Origa, Alessandra Deidda, Alice Puleo, Ailyn Alfaro, Jose Antonio Pavon, Armando Arteaga,Françoise Lempereur, Logan Yuen, Gordon Tannhauser, Xavier Ferrús, Fernanda Riotto Fernández, Paul Andrew Brogna, Ewa Pic, Christian Pamies, Susana Osés, Verena Vogler, Clara Nubiola, Maria Loucaidou, Virginia Chiapas, Sara Cuccu, Jorge Andrés Cantor, Luis Alejandro Vivas, Giovanni Cetto, Simona Covello, Diego Parra, Ermanno Marota, Guillermo Marcondes Zambrano, Guto Santos, Kirsti Øygarden, Luciana Cardoso, Marco Quagliantini, Michelangelo Pinto, Michele Buizza, Phuoc Tan Huynh

Posted on Monday April 26th 2010 at 6:12 am by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Eerica

    has a giant rooster just landed in Shanghai ?

  • DK

    Beautiful texture and color i love it…
    but what happened to the interior…??
    it looks like a totally seporate building! Its as if you can see the Spanish Pavilion structure through this awful buildings windows.

  • cacas


  • Booh

    hum. I really like the outside… but for some reason I keep hearing my nightmarish architecture professor whispering in my ear: “more simple, more simple”

  • leds


  • Phil Hill

    Sick! I just love ot. Totally

  • jack the ripper

    after the dandelion , the pine cone …very impressive ..

  • Sal

    My oh my, I’m loving this more and more everytime I look at the pictures. The interior and exterior seems well planed :D

  • junihaoni

    i really like this pavillion cos of its humble and smart choice of materials on the outside. However, i feel that the contrasting contemporary and expensive-looking interior on the inside feels awkward. The ruggedness of the exterior doesn’t really marry the inside.

    Anyone going to be there!?

  • poster

    I agree interior and exterior don’t correspond to each other, the initial sketches really matched, but the something happened (budget cuts, lack of time hurry up hurry up hurry up folks.. you know)

  • Really Really Nice pavilion.

    More pics from the interior. What about that?

  • pi

    i’m not sure if i really like ..but must say – it’s impressive!

  • Expo 2005, japan, polish pavillion by ingarden & ewy had extremely similar elevational treatment. Spanish designers could wait another few year with this ‘inspration’ .

  • m

    I’m not sure why, but it doesn’t work for me. It was more pretty in theory. The picture with the door explains it all: it’s just bad done.

  • ckrzysiek

    I think that polish architect Krzysztof Ingarden used this idea in a lot better way on expo in Japan.

  • I love it . Like a building in rpg game finalfantasy.

    Great interior!!!

  • mvb

    I really like the exterior of the pavilion. The wicker façade is impresive due to its form and construction technic. However, the interior is disappointing. The stairs are like Le Corbusier’s houses and doe not fix at all.

  • Richie

    Wow.. I can see what people are saying about the interior not really matching up to the outside but I can forgive that with the shell being so fantastical. Looks like a wave of woven thatching crashing down on the expo site. That Polish pavilion that people are bringing up as a comparison seems to have a more formal taut membrane quality to it, less organic and ‘messy’.

  • mil

    Outside is almost interesting?
    looks more like an restaurant decorator proyect than an arcitectural pavillion.

  • Roger Emmerson

    I think the Wickerman will be there.

  • Booh

    Yeah I totally agree, I think its those damn stairs. They really are VERY Corbusian. I would have liked to see them lighter, and more tectonic. Perhaps relating to the texture of the skin which is so vibrant. It seems as if the architects wanted us to look at the stairs and think: oh sculptured stairs… but the reality is: Oh… sculptured everything! Which… in the end, I suppose has some merit as well. :: continues to scratch head ::

  • It ain’t got shit on the heatherwick pavilion.

  • steve

    Much better than the lame effort by Tom Heatherwick. Good to see that someone actually designed something original for the expo… look and learn Tommy.

  • angry catalan

    This is their first post-Miralles project where you can’t see him anymore. So it’s a bit of a letdown. But it’s OK I guess.

  • mcmlxix

    I’m seriously in love with this, but like everyone else has said, the exterior and interior don’t integrate well. And those hideous orange chairs…why not use…wicker!

  • Mads

    it is new architectural concept, with less high tech endings and exterior interior are showed as they are, rrememberr this building will be demolished or abandonned in a couple of months…

  • Something just doesn’t gell here.
    They have opted for and extreemely organic exterior with an unpredictable material, not one of the wicker frames look alike. Then you get the entrance door that could be the entrance to a suburban home. And inside… as others have described, a corbusian interior that doesn’t relate with exterior.
    So if I have it correctly, the exterior is plastered with wicker, the interior is plastered with wicker, in-between this is a waterproof glass facade that could do without the wicker completely?

  • j

    i like the idea, but i agree, weird Interior… and the shape pf those wicker mats reminds me too much of doormats….. why did they choose that shape i wonder-would look better with ovals or half circles in my opinion

  • mm

    Agreed! Exterior is beautiful, while the interior does not mesh well at all. The door seems a little out of place too!

  • frankly speaking

    ANOTHER ’80S POSTMODERN one liner assembly,without those Complexities & Contradictions (granted one lame ‘copy & paste’ anachronism); Substituting Greek/Roman/Incas… architectural antiquities with current (one&half decade old ) fetish of CAD generated amorphous ICEING, GARNISHED with symbolic material of sustainability: twigs, straws, wickers, ………recycled pantyhose……

  • Jin

    I’m so exciting
    I wanna go toSH … !!

  • junihaoni

    i guess the spanish were torn between the idea of using “cheap” choice of materials innovatively and the need to showcase a classy and well-finished interior to give a lasting impression to the world.

    Time ran out and they decided to smack the two together, glued with an out-of-place tightly sealed glass facade.

  • nix

    wow totally great

  • Obscurity

    “…the universal language of the material works to build a bridge between East and West, and among Spain and China.” So…the contrast between the exterior and the interior seems to represent exactly what the architects aimed at, and it has been rendered almost to perfection. BTW the design concept is not quite new to us as is shown in this item, (not that I own one of this kind, though.):

  • ghull

    amazing! very imaginative! and the interior light! fantastic!

  • mustafa

    I love it . Like a building in rpg game finalfantasy

  • yrag

    I’m sorry, to my eyes it just looks like the old doormat pavilion.

    I feel the wicker is just so overpowering.

  • Great !!!

  • Anita

    Que impresionante!!!!
    El interior es increiblemente imaginativo y moderno. Las formas y los materiales son super originales, no??
    Saludos, España

  • The best pavilion! that’s it!

  • What an amazing structure! The interior misses somewhat interaction with te exterior but the contrast between the white stairs and the exterior on the background is fabulous!

  • Isabel

    I love it all, in and out. I think the architect wished to hide an inside wonderful world adfter a protective humble external look. That’s like life indeed! And I love the orange chairs, a little colour accent that has much to do with Spain.

  • Chong Hor Ooi

    Really great project…difference design …fantastics ideal,no more concreted forest……..

  • Beautiful, the visual tension between the wicker grid and the staircase is fun.

  • zirkëa

    Love the rich exterior. Don't generally have a probelm with contrast either – what is better to show off a beautifully rich element than a contrasting plain element? However, I think the juxtaposition could have been designed more purposefully.

    Wicker chairs would not have complemented the skin. Isn't life a collage as well?

  • It's a design that look great. Represents a grand challenge in the eye tourists.