Shanghai World Expo 2010-The German Pavilion

The German Pavilion reminds me of a BMW - serious, well-engineered, but not much sense of humour. Architecturally it is a bit derivative - you get a feeling that you have seen this somewhere else. It is designed by German architect Schimdhuber & Partner.

From a distance the building looks solid - as if clad in metal panels. When you go close-up, you realize that actually the cladding is not solid at all, but a kind of architectural fabric stretched like a skin over the metal skeleton of the building. I find this the most interesting feature of the building, as it points towards a possible new direction of creating form in architecture.

The line was too long so I didn't bother to go inside. The cafe is cleverly placed on one side of the pavilion, and here I could see many Chinese visitors enjoying the famous German pork knuckle and beer.

The German Pavilion at night.

Germany actually put up one of the most architecturally influential Pavilions at the 1929 Expo in Barcelona, Spain. Designed by renowned architect Mies Van der Rohe, it is commonly know as the Barcelona Pavilion. It was a building so radical for its time, it inspired a whole generation of architects. Somehow I didn't see anything at this Expo that would be as influential.


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