Expo Aftermath

  • Posted in Default
  • By admin
  • Date August 6th, 2010 09:17
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  • As the Expo descends closer, this month noticeably marked by the completion of the Chinese pavilion, the GIGA blog will be featuring stories about the Expo. Incredibly the Expo is the third largest event in the world (economic and cultural impact) after the World Cup and Olympics. The Expo has been around for one and a half centuries with the first one held in The Crystal Palace in London in 1851. Titled “Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations” it exhibited manufactured products. Many of the subsequent Expos featured national pavilions created by the participating countries.

    Committing to building a pavilion is not a cheap decision for participants, at Expo 2000 Hanover the average pavilion investment was around 13 million Euros. The number one reason for countries to participate is to use their pavilion as ‘nation branding’ and a successful pavilion can generate significant revenues.

    So what fate awaits the 42 International Pavilions, 3 Domestic Pavilions, and 12 Corporate Pavilions and the site after the last VIP has been escorted around? The 160,000 square meter Chinese pavilion (if you are in Shanghai you must have seen the images of it plastered around town along with Haibao) will be converted into a museum for Chinese history and culture. The majority of the structures are temporary and will be dismantled at the end of the Expo. The Expo Rules stipulate this so that Shanghai does not bear the responsibility of long-term maintenance. As a result many of the pavilion designs feature recyclable materials.

    Many pavilions hope for longevity, and hopefully a more permanent home. Some of the most iconic structures in the world are remnants from some Expo such as the Eiffel Tower (1889), The Crystal Palace, and Buckminster Fuller’s American pavilion from Montreal 1967. Walt Disney provided exhibitions and rides for New York 1964 which were eventually moved to Disneyland where they are still in operation.

    And it is not only buildings that are retained; Flushing Meadows Park in New York has hosted 2 Expos; and worldwide there are numerous remnant transport systems. This is particularly evident in Shanghai where new Metro Lines 7, 9, 10, 11, and 13 will be ferrying people across the city, as well as a new terminal at Honqqiao Airport.

    At the Shanghai Expo there are different ways of procuring a Pavilion:0 - Designed and constructed by the participating nation.

    - Individual Pavilions designed and constructed by the Shanghai Expo Authority for rent to the participant.

    - Joint pavilions designed and constructed by the Shanghai Expo Authority for rent to developing nations.

    In the case of ‘designed and constructed by the participating nation’ pavilions, the nation is responsible for dismantling and removing their own pavilion.

    Over the coming weeks the GIGA blog will investigate what will happen to the Macau’s rabbit, or the UK’s hedgehog, and also how the unforeseeable demolition of pavilions has influenced the design and materiality.

    As an ending, absurd story of the week comes courtesy from China Smack about the Chinese village of Huaxi constructing the most out of context building I have ever seen.

    Read about it here: http://www.chinasmack.com/stories/chinese-village-constructing-worlds-15...

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