On 1st of May I was lucky enough to be in Shanghai, when the Expo 2010 was opened. Officials estimate the 6-month event, themed “Better City, Better Life”, will attract up to 100 million visitors, 95 percent of them Chinese. I would say that’s just their original claim, the figures will be much higher at the end.
Shanghai has spent 400 billion yuan (58.6 billion US dollars) preparing for the Expo, according to state media – more than was spent on the Beijing Olympics.
Collected here are photographs of last-minute preparations in Shanghai.
Visitors walk past the illuminated Expo Axis of Sunshine Valley (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg). The expo axis is a central part of the Expo designed for events:
You know Iceland had a rough time in the last 18 months. Nevertheless, at the Expo, their pavilion is here to say that the country ain’t all bad. Iceland came up with the idea of setting up an in-house business centre to help Icelanders interested in extending their business interests to China.
And is not just a simple business center – inside the climate is kept at an even 21 degrees Celsius, that will make the place very comfortable for the Shanghai summer, and visitors can try one the purest water on Earth, Iceland Spring, filtered through layers of lava rock which trickles into the ground over decades and picks up a minimum of soluble minerals.
Danish Pavilion called BIG. In the photo: the double-loop structure has a cycle park on the roof containing 300 free bikes for visitors, and features as its centrepiece a pool overlooked by the Little Mermaid statue from Copenhagen – specially imported for the Expo – where visitors can swim. Photo credits: Iwan Baan.
Shanghai Corporate Pavilion – Its exterior is made from recycled CD cases. Polycarbonates are thermoplastics that can be heated and reformed, and the architects suggest that when the show is over the whole thing can be melted down again. It features a 1600m2 solar heat-collecting tube on the roof. These solar tube can collect solar energy to produce hot water up to 95°C. Ultra-low temperature power generation techology, a novel way to generate electricity through solar power.
Seed Cathedral is a design masterpiece – “20 metres in height, formed from 60,000 slender transparent rods, each 7.5 metres long and each encasing one or more seeds at its tip. During the day, they act as optic fibres 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.”
The Japanese Silkworm
At the back the Chinese Pavilion – Crown of the East, designed to be seen from every part of the city.