Mexican Pavilion for Shanghai Expo 2010
by Slot.


Shanghai Expo 2010: here are some images of the Mexican pavilion designed by Mexican studio Slot. at Shanghai Expo 2010, taken by Iwan Baan.

The pavilion features an array of kite-like shapes sitting on top of slanted white poles on a sloping piece of land, which leads visitors into a grand plaza.

The 'kite forest' features 130 plastic 'kites' in five bright colours that appear like bright lanterns when illuminated at night.

Holes in the poles spray out cool air as people walk in between them.

The pavilion is divided into three separate areas, representing the past, future and present of Mexico.

The past is is represented on a plinth, the present at access level and the future represented by the kite forest.

A restaurant inside the pavilion showcases and serves traditional Mexican food.

All photos are copyright Iwan Baan.

See all our stories about Shanghai Expo 2010 in our special category.

Here's some more information from the architects:

Mexican architects SLOT have won an international competition to design the Mexican Pavilion for the Expo Shanghai 2010. SLOT was awarded first prize in an open design competition which included 156 entrants.

The pavilion’s design is born from the idea of representing Mexico through its traditional elements which haven’t been exploited in these kinds of fairs. The proposal scheme is centered around the idea of creating a green space within the expo which at the same time represents our preoccupation to offer a better life standard for cities through the recovery of green areas rather than creating a protagonist building.

The Mexican pavilion is a volume defined by a talud (slope) which transforms itself into a plaza privileging public space as an urban gesture within the expo. Space is divided in three levels which represent three different moments of urban life in our country. The past is represented on the plinth, present time Mexico at the entrance level, and future on the platform.

The pavilion’s main feature lies within the design of the papalotes (kites), a word that comes from the Nahuatl papalotl which means butterfly, used as a cultural meeting point between Mexican and Chinese cultures.

Our proposal is to look into a future with areas which are thought, destined and planned specifically for leisure, the recovery of parks and green areas, where new generations might meet in a city with a “better living”.


Project: Mexican Pavilion for the Universal Expo Shanghai 2010
Use: Exhibition space
Theme: Better City, Better Life
Site: Shanghai, China. Expo Fair, American pavilions area, zone C, number 8.
Total Area: 4000m2
Built area: 3500m2
Dimensions: 80m long X 50m wide
Client: Promexico
Completed: May 2010


SLOT: Juan Carlos González Vidals, Israel Alvarez Matamoros, Moritz Melchert, Mariana Tello Rodríguez, Edgar Octavio Ramírez Corrales
Colaborators: Michel Trejo, Aaron Hernández, Efraín Ovando, Jimena Gonzalez Pie, Jorge Pardo Torra

See also:


Netherlands Pavilion by
John Kormeling
More about Shanghai Expo 2010 on Dezeen More photography stories
on Dezeen

Posted on Thursday May 27th 2010 at 6:48 pm by Catherine Warmann. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • paulinux

    Also, the ‘kites’ could be reminiscent of the mexican (spanish-born) architect Félix Candela..

  • I like it, it’s simple… and different than the others that are more for calling attention.

  • This is amazing!

  • Nothing about México, and I can even say, fortunately anything. :)

  • memo

    What´s wrong with this Expo ? I hardly see any people in all the pavillions.

  • cacas

    more interior fotos please…. the idea is fantastic!

  • I have to say that, I’ve being surprised from Mexico… actually I like it

  • Hassan Román

    i love it… i love this pavillion… cuz represents the mexican crafts, the colors, the celebrations, the lanscapes…

    a clip about this pavillion….

  • Simple and nice. Not that I think that kites are quintessentially Mexican, but so what?

  • ralph

    The idea itself is genius!!!, but I think that for those “kites” to be seen from far, they become somehow grotesque once you look at them close, I mean, the idea is similar to the “mimbre” fachade that Spain used on their pavillion but somehow they managed to translate the concept and fabric almost intact, something that didn’t happen on the Mexico side ………….but i repeat the concept is great!!

  • Damfak

    Simple. Clean. Awsome!. Good for Mexican Design!.

  • tanya telford – T

    as soon as i saw and read this post i was immediately drawn to idea of cold air and thought about & wondered if it felt anything like the breeze that you get when your sitting under tree sometimes. If im honest, i think that means im looking at this and relating the kite shapes more to a group of colourful tree representations but regardless, i like it cause it looks kind of jolly.

  • tanya telford – T

    actually i don’t think “jolly” is the right word, much more to it than that,

  • I think it perpetuates the folkloric image of Mexico. The proportion of the kites is grotesque, the colors are unfortuante. No wonder people still think we go around on donkeys and wear sombreros and take siesta time.

    Nice idea, poorly done