Expo 2010 is a worldwide event that is currently taking place  in Shanghai, China and started May 1st.  As a reminder, here is more information from the official website: “World Expo 2010 Shanghai China is the occasion for China to bring the world at home, and for the world to feel at home in China. By dedicating a 5.28-square-kilometer area at the core of the city to exhibitions, events and forums on the Expo theme, “Better City, Better Life,” Shanghai hopes to build a powerful and lasting pilot example of sustainable and harmonious urban living.” The event is expected to gather up over 70 million visitors until the end of October and so far it looks like the estimations were good.

In this post we will “exhibit” 15 pavilions, some of which you may have seen and others that didn’t appear so much in the press. This is no countdown, but just a selection, so feel free to add any comments and let us know if you like a pavilion that is not featured here. Without any further ado…

1. The UK Pavilion by Thomas Heatherwick aka “The Seed Cathedral” features 60,000 fiber-optic rods which pierce through the six-level structure. Each rod contains seeds from the Millennium Seed Bank in Great Britain. Here is more information from Thomas Heatherwick: “The Seed Cathedral sits in the center of the UK Pavilion’s site, 20 meters in height, formed from 60,000 slender transparent rods, each 7.5 meters long and each encasing one or more seeds at its tip. During the day, they act as optic fibers and draw daylight inwards to illuminate the interior. At night, light sources inside each rod allow the whole structure to glow. As the wind moves past, the building and its optic “hairs” gently move to create a dynamic effect ” Stunning! You might also want to check out the video featuring the building’s incredible interiors.- via Dezeen

2. The Taiwan Pavilion resembles the “sky lantern” or Kong Ming lantern, a paper-design lamp typical for the Asian people. According to our source, people fly the lanterns in order to pray for happiness, safety and health in Taiwan. During the events in Shanghai, Taiwan will invite people to fly good luck lanterns as well. The pavilion is a  transparent cube housing a huge digital circle in the center-symbolizing the Earth. The main attraction of the structure is its three dimensional theater where movies with the theme “”Mountain, Water, Heart and Lantern” will constantly be projected.- via

3. Despite its look, which one might say is not so serious The Japan Pavilion houses a futuristic city, with the latest technology discoveries. Here is further information: “Japan will highlight the role of advanced ecological technology in helping humans achieve a more comfortable life and confidence in the future with its huge “breathing organism” pavilion at World Expo 2010. The country’s exhibit will feature a theme on the harmony between the human heart and technology. The pavilion will be divided into past, present and future exhibits.” Japan’s pavilion stretches over a 6,000-square-meter and is one of the largest at Expo 2010.-via Chinacities

4. Here’s a less known pavilion that made an impression at Shanghai. The design concept of the Romanian Pavilion belongs to SC M&C Strategy Development and “evolves around the color and environmental implications of “green”, inspired by the apple, the most popular fruit in Romania and representing a “green city”, healthy life and the concept of sustainable development.” “Greenopolis” has five levels, where visitors will be invited to participate at genuine Romanian popular dances, various events and movie projections.-via

5. The Russia Pavilion has been designed “as an ideal city resembling cites in the fairyland, which will give people the impression of a children’s paradise. It features 12 irregularly shaped towers in white, red and gold. A 15-meter-tall central building dubbed the “Civilization Cube” links the towers. With their irregular shapes, these 20-meter towers are located among the natural landscapes of a green lawn and water. Taking a close look, visitors will find that these towers form a circle that takes after the formation of a famous Russian dance. The roofs of the towers are decorated with hollow pictures in colors widely used for traditional Russian garments, symbolizing the integration of various ethnic groups in the country.”-via Expo 2010

6. The Finnish Pavilion also known as “Kirnu” (“Giant’s Kettle”) was esigned by a team from Helsinki-based office JKMM and led by architect Teemu Kurkela.”The Finnish pavilion at Shanghai World Expo 2010 portrays our country in microcosm, presenting both Finland and its society to the world. The pavilion can be seen as a miniature city built by Finns. Its inner space tells stories of Finland and the Finns. The pavilion is an example of how Finns are building better cities according to the principles of sustainable development. Like Finnish society, the pavilion combines creativity, high technology, and culture – a unity that makes for good human life.” Check out the photos and the video for a better view- pictures and information from here.

7. The Swiss Pavilion was designed by Buchner Bründler Architects and Element. The architects say it is “shows the characteristics of modern Switzerland, including the pursuit of excellence, innovation and high-quality life, as well as concepts of future facing, forward looking and sustainable development”. The two main attractions are a roof-top garden where visitors can go by chair lift and the cool, intelligent facade made of LED lights which capture energy and let it out by night. -via Dezeen

8. With its two giant structures hanging on each other, the Israel Pavilion looks like a “seashell.” One side is made of authentic stone while the other is made from transparent glass. According to the organizers, “the design symbolizes Israeli innovation and technology as well as represents the dialogue between humanity and nature, the earth and the sky, as well as the past and the future.” Here is some more information we found via ArchDaily: “The pavilion consists of three areas — Whispering Garden, Hall of Light and Hall of Innovations. The Whispering Garden is a green orchard that greets visitors as they enter the building. Some facilities will be installed to make the trees begin to “whisper” in both English and Chinese when visitors walk close to them”.

9. The Polish Pavilion was designed by architects Wojciech Kakowski, Marcin Mostafa and Natalia Paszkowska.”Their building is inspired by traditional polish folk art paper cut-outs reinterpreted in a
contemporary fashion. The idea was generated when the team sought to create a ‘cultural ideogram’ that would signify the country of origin in an iconic way. the project focuses on exploring the importance of the personal experience between buildings and people. the ramp that is created by the folded exterior enables visitors to climb onto the roof of the building, making the entire building a function exhibition space.” With such an impressive and diverse History, we were expecting some major contradictions in choosing the theme, but it looks like they managed just fine.-via Designboom

10. The design concept for the German Pavilion belongs to architects Schmidhuber + Kaindl, who named the construction “Balancity” and represents “a city in balance between renewal and preservation, innovation and tradition, urbanity and nature, society and its individuals, work and recreation, and finally, between globalisation and national identity”. The metal-looking gray-colored project makes us think of the coldness and of the precise German technique, so perhaps this is indeed what reflects the nation’s personality. More information and photos here.

11. The Pavilion of the Czech Republic’s theme is that of “Fruits of Civilization,” “With adoption of technical fruits to create better cities, visitors will discover different fruits of civilization moving from street to street. To explain the theme, the Czech Pavilion will produce a virtual city with spotlight on the use of new technologies.Combining elements of past and future, the pavilion features sustainable city planning by adopting new century city planning to historical towns. The fusion of historical heritage and modern building will make the pavilion unique which can provide visitors with a pleasant journey.Visitors will experience a fictitious city modeled on the Old Town of Prague, the capital and historical center of the country.”-via Expo 2010

12. The Saudi Arabia Pavilion is actually a joint design effort, as both Chiana and Saudi Arabia participated in creating this structure. “The pavilion has a “moon boat” shape and is surrounded by deserts and seas, just like Saudi Arabia. Along with the 150 date palms that are now planted in the pavilion, it’s main attraction is a huge IMAX screen. The 1,600-square-meter screen is larger than any other cinema screen on earth. Short films will be presented on the screen.” -information from ArchDaily

13. The French Pavilion was designed by Jacques Ferrier Architectures and it is also known as The Sensual City. “The pavilion is clad in a trellis-like structure and features a garden inside with plants growing on the walls, a roof garden and pools of water.The pavilion is designed to showcase the sights, smells, tastes, sounds and feel of France, and visitors will be able to sample French food and watch classic french films.” Check out the video for a better understanding.-via Dezeen

14. The Hungarian Pavilion‘s theme is “Architectural and Cultural Diversity of Our Cities” and is decorated with more than 800 wood rods, and visitors will feel they are having a walk in a forest. These wooden rods not only reflect light, but also rise and fall with changing music rhythms to bring visitors both audio and visual impacts. Wood rods are musical instruments themselves and can make sweet sounds when tapped. The sounds even change in the morning, afternoon and evening. The National Pavilion Day will be a chance to showcase a feast of Hungarian culture”- via China Daily

15. The Danish Pavilion was created by BIG in collaboration with Arup and 2+1. “The pavilion is a big loop on which visitors ride around on one of the 1,500 bikes available at the entrance, a chance to experience the Danish urban way. At the center of the pavilion there’s a big pool with fresh water from Copenhagen’s harbor, on which visitors can even swim. At the center of the pool you will find The Little Mermaid, a statue that has become a symbol for Denmark.”- information from ArchDaily

This raps it up, hope you enjoyed the ride. Remember to leave a comment in case you considered we left something out. And for all of you out there visiting the Expo- have a fantastic time!