Expo 2010: The Central Axis and Four Pavilions

map of expo

Map of Central Axis and Four Pavilions.

From clockwise position: Performance Centre, China Pavilion, Central Axis, Theme Pavilion, Expo Centre.

They refer to the Central Axis, China Pavilion, Theme Pavilions, Expo Center, and Performance Centre.

The  Expo Axis is the main axis in Pudong Expo Site, leasing to the four pavilions through overhead and underground connections. It also acts as the main traffic hinge in Pudong Site and it will guide visitors to different pavilions over there.

For a more comprehensive description and 3D view of the expo site, visit Expo Shanghai Online. You are able to glance through the different zones within the expo site.

Central Axis

Central Axis

The Central Axis is around 1km long and 100m wide. It will connect several metro stations and the elevated pedestrians’ walk. It’s a super sized space, which greatly challenges the conventional design methodology.

Under the pile foundation of the Central Axis lie a series of pipelines with a total length of 700km, via which the geotherm and river water will be introduced to maintain the area warm in winter and cool in summer. The ‘Sun Valleys’ can introduce sufficient sunshine and fresh air while collecting the rainwater in an effective way. The design team made great efforts to create a sustainable structure for the future.

It’ll be another ideal presentation of large urban space within the Expo site. The Central Axis, as a permanent structure for Expo 2010, will serve as a traffic hub and commercial centre after the Expo, with provision of comfortable services to people, and remind people of the memorable days during the Expo.

China Pavilion

China Pavilion

The China Pavilion “The Crown of the East,” is a complex structure that celebrates a diverse range of traditional Chinese elements, including architecture, calligraphy, gardening and urban planning. Standing in the central location of the Expo site at 63 meters tall, triple the height of any other pavilion, the structure certainly will become a fine exhibit for Shanghai to present to the world ahead of the Expo opening.

The main structure of the China Pavilion has a distinctive roof, made of traditional dougong or brackets, which has a history dating back more than 2,000 years. The dougong style features wooden brackets fixed layer upon layer between the top of a column and a crossbeam. This unique structural component of interlocking wooden brackets is one of the most important elements in traditional Chinese architecture.

The China Pavilion includes a national pavilion, a joint pavilion for provinces and cities, and separate pavilions for Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. Provinces and cities in the joint pavilion will have a 600-square-meter space and are required to submit their preliminary exhibition plans before April.

Construction has started on all the permanent structures in the Expo site, including the China Pavilion. The pavilion will be converted into a museum for Chinese history and culture after the Expo closes in 2010.

Theme Pavilion

Theme Pavilion

The Theme Pavilion plan of Expo 2010 Shanghai China came into being after experiencing a logical reasoning from simple to complex and then from complex to simple. It was just like a “path to explore the city” regarding the birth of the theme, the theme development, and the design of the Theme Pavilion.

The theme of the Expo 2010 Shanghai China is “Better City, Better Life”. It aim to convey that people, urban and the earth are three interlinked organic systems which are increasingly forming an integral whole.

After several in-depth theme discussions, the organizers put forward 5 concepts & attractions of the Theme Pavilion:

  1. The Urban Dwellers Pavilion
    Focal point: People inside and outside the city. People are the cells of a city, and are also the miniature of a city. As urbanization accelerates, cities pose tremendous impact even to people who live outside of the city. Human beings are increasingly becoming “The Urban Dwellers”.
  2. The Urban Beings Pavilion
    Focal point: The city itself. The inside structure of the city is complicated, with all parts interlinked and coordinated. It resembles the characteristics and laws of organism.
  3. The Urban Planets Pavilion
    Focal point: As the proportion of urban citizen in the whole population grows higher, the interaction among cities and between city and eco-environment will be tightened.
  4. The Urban Footprints Pavilion
    Focal point: The experiences and wisdom of humankind in history process.
  5. The Urban Dreams Pavilion
    Focal point: Outlook of a better city and a better life.

The design team decided to tell the spectators “stories of families”, proceeding from realities by filming different urban families in different parts of the world into documentations, to reveal the demand and development of Urban Dwellers.

Expo Centre

Expo Centre

The Expo Centre (350m in west-east direction, 140m in north-south direction), with overall building area of 140,000m2, is one of the core buildings of Expo Shanghai.

It is located within riverside green areas of Zone B (refer to Expo Shanghai Online for the reference of zones allocated) on the Expo site, with theme pavilions on the south side, the Central Axis, the Expo Performance Center and China Pavilion on the east side.

According to the design, the Expo Centre, standing along the Huangpu River, will be provided with see-through exterior walls, offering a birds-eye view over both sides of the River as well as greatly reducing the building mass. The appearance of the Expo Center is designed to well match its perimeter buildings such as the China Pavilion, Theme Pavilion, Performance Centre and Central Axis, and naturally incorporate into surrounding environment, including the Expo Park and the Huangpu River.

The Expo Center is defined with four core functions and four corresponding support functions.

Four core functions (functional areas):

  • 2,600-seat conference hall, planned for major conferences and international events
  • 600-seat international conference hall, is designed in line with the standards to holding a head meeting
  • 5,000-seat multi-functional hall, area of around 7,200m2, is designed for international conventions and assemblies
  • 3,000-seat banquet hall, of around 4,800m2, is prepared for dining of such kinds

Four corresponding support functions (functional areas):

  • medium and small scale meeting area,
  • public dining hall,
  • VIP reception area,
  • press conference area.

Combined with these critical functions, the Expo Center, undoubtedly, will serve as the operation & commanding center, ceremony & conference center, information & press center, and forum & activity center during the Expo season.

Performance Centre

Performance Centre

The centre will have a large central stage, a large function hall that can accommodate 18,000 people and support facilities. Seating can be arranged to serve audiences of 4,000, 8,000, 12,000 or 18,000, based on requirements for performances and acoustical needs. The central stage is the first of its kind in China and can be adjusted to form different shapes within 360 degrees.

Its arc profile suggests a sense of fashion, a new urban cultural landmark, but also the subtlety of green concepts. Surfaces of the lower layer curve can serve as a sun shading system in the summer; the glass roof will lend natural lighting to underground space.

River water, warm in the winter and cool in the summer, will be pumped into the high efficiency air-conditioning system. LED lighting will substitute for traditional lighting sources.

Come back and check out for more articles on various individual pavilion such as the USA Pavilion, Japan Pavilion and other innovatively-designed structure to be showcased at the event of the year, World Shanghai Expo 2010.

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