Project in Detail
Danish Pavilion - Shanghai World Expo 2010
World Architecture Festival 2010 - Category Commendation
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
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.
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.
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 However, the polluting activities in the harbor have been replaced by harbor parcs and cultural institutions in Denmark, and as a result the water has become clean enough to swim in.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.
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.
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.
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.
Ai Wei Wei
Client / Developer
Tongji Design Institute
Martin De Thurah