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Sneak peek at 2010 World Expo pavilions

2010. 15 April

by Jim Byers
( Canada: Canada was the first country to sign an Expo participation contract, and officials expect 5.5 million visitors. There’s open space surrounded by three, wood-clad, curving structures. Cirque du Soleil will perform in the public space. The theme is: The Living City: Inclusive, Sustainable, Creative. Vancouver and Montreal were chosen to put on displays in the Urban Best Practices Area showcase.
Vancouver’s theme is “Cultural Heritage and Livable City: From Expo 1986 to 2010 Winter Olympics.” Montreal, a sister city of Shanghai, will showcase how the 20,000-square-metre Saint Michel environmental complex was transformed from a landfill to a green area for city residents.

China: A beautiful, gleaming red pavilion that dominates the site. The Chinese government says its display will “provide visitors with an experience of China’s efforts or urban development over the course of the last 30 years since its reform and opening-up.”

The U.S.: The Americans were almost a no-show, but Secretary of State Hillary Clinton put together a team of donors and got a pavilion built. It will be dwarfed by China’s display, but it’s bettern than to have skipped the Expo — which would’ve been an embarrassment given the level of participation. Plus, such a move would’ve been seen as a huge slap in the face to China.

The U.K.: The exterior is made of some 60,000 spines that can wave in the breeze. Each of them has a tiny, coloured light on the end that can be used to help display images on the exterior. The building resembles an enormous, wavy porcupine and might be the talk of the town.

Switzerland: Features an exterior curtain wall made of soy bean fiber.

Pakistan: Creates a replica of the Lahore Fort.

Poland: Covered in paper-cutting patterns.

Spain: Exterior is meant to resemble a curving, wicker basket.

Africa: A joint pavilion for all the continent’s countries.

Denmark: The Little Mermaid statue has been uprooted from Copenhagen’s harbour and will rest in the Danish pavilion for the duration.