27.4.2010

The Austrian Pavilion, Shanghai Expo 2010

SPAN has the pleasure to announce the completion of The Austrian Pavilion in the Shanghai Expo 2010, a futuristic architecture. The Austrian presentation at the Shanghai Expo (1 May to 31 October 2010) takes the form of a futuristic pavilion. The two-storey structure is the product of a collaborative design by the Vienna-based architecture offices SPAN and Zeytinoglu Architects.

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The Austrian presentation at the Shanghai Expo (1 May to 31 October 2010) takes the form of a futuristic pavilion. The two-storey structure is the product of a collaborative design by the Vienna-based architecture offices SPAN and Zeytinoglu Architects. The leitmotifs are seamless surfaces and joints that reflect biological structures. The software used – a world premiere – for the design was specially developed to explore complex curved geometries. The façade of the pavilion is encased in ten million porcelain tiles. A biomorphic volume covered with a shimmering porcelain skin: the presentation of the Austrian Pavilion at the 2010 World Exposition. «The architecture for the project is based on the ideas of continuity, seamless surfaces and smooth transitions between spaces – a concept that is geared to develop a continuous flow within the pavilion while providing a subtle blending between the outside and the inside» (Matias del Campo, SPAN). The gradient transition of colour on the façade, the design of the bar and the consoles as well as details, such as the cladding of the ceiling spotlights, apply this concept in a rigorous way.

The Pavilion as a Total Artwork
Austria – Feel the Harmony: this was the motto behind the pavilion’s conception as a gesamtkunstwerk consisting of space, sound and images, enriched by tactile experiential worlds. For example, snow and ice are integrated as real elements. «The spatial relationships of the pavilion playfully adopt the balance, division and symbiosis between the town and the countryside», explains Arkan Zeytinoglu. «Abstract landscapes as sensual experiential spaces generate a rhythmical movement from the natural space to the cultural acoustically condensed urban space.» The central room unfolds from the inside outwards. The curvilinear sequence of interior spaces supports the flow of visitors from the entrance area through the exhibition grounds to the exit. Thanks to the seamless transitions the visuals can unfold freely and unhindered in the space. Panoramas and imagery are projected onto the walls, floor and ceiling to fill
the interior.

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World Premiere for Software
What looks organic is the result of mathematical structures calculated in minute detail. Only apparently a paradox, the mathematics are understood as «the universal language, capable of describing everything, from the structure of a piece of music to the geometry of an oyster shell», says Sandra Manninger of the architects SPAN. «Geometric and mathematical systems present in natural phenomena are embedded directly into the design to increase the efficiency of the form.»

Ten Million Porcelain Tiles
Over ten million tiles cover the entire façade of the pavilion with a porcelain skin that gradually changes from red to white. The cladding of the complex curved surface encasing the entire outdoor surface and the roof was made possible by the selection of very small hexagonal modules. The result is what appears to be a smooth, seamless surface, regardless of its opposite nature: 60 million joints result in a regular distribution of the tension in the façade. The design also alludes to the tradition of Chinese porcelain exports to Europe.

An Expo of Superlatives
The design by SPAN and Zeytinoglu was the unanimous choice of the jury in a pan-European competition held in 2008. This gave the architects an opportunity to render the cultural identity of Austria tangible in a global context – after all, the World Exposition 2010 promises to break all records, with no less than 70 million visitors and over two hundred participating countries.

The Architects
– Matias del Campo, born in 1970 in Santiago, Chile, studied architecture at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. Editor of the Vienna-based newspaper Falter from 1995 to 1998, correspondent for the ORF from 1998 to 2001. Since 2003, numerous projects, exhibitions and publications in collaboration with Sandra Manninger under the label SPAN. Several awards and prizes for the architecture designs of SPAN. Since 2008, visiting professor of architecture design at the Dessau Institute of Architecture.

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– Sandra Manninger, born in 1970 in Graz, studied architecture at Vienna University of Technology. Numerous projects, exhibitions and publications in collaboration with Matias del Campo under the label SPAN. Several awards and prizes for the architecture designs of SPAN. Since 2008, visiting professor of architecture design at the Genetic Architecture Studio, ESARQ, Barcelona.

visit: www.span-arch.com / www.span.vox.com / www.arkan.at / www.juicypool.com

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