Shanghai Expo Danish Pavilion – BIG

Shanghai Expo Danish Pavilion, Building, Image, Architect, Design, Denmark, News

Shanghai Expo Danish Pavilion Building

Denmark Architecture Information – design by BIG, architects

1 May 2010

Shanghai Expo Danish Pavilion

The Danish Pavilion at Shanghai’s World Expo 2010 designed by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group opens to the public today

BIG celebrates the grand opening of the Danish Expo Pavilion 2010

The Danish pavilion at EXPO 2010 will give visitors the opportunity to try some of the best aspects of Danish city life themselves. Through interaction, the visitors are able to actually experience some of Copenhagen’s best attractions – the city bike, the harbor bath, playground settings, a picnic on the roof garden and the opportunity to see the authentic H.C Andersen’s Little Mermaid.

“When we visited the World Exhibition in Zaragoza, we were stunned by the artificial content. State propaganda in paper maché. The Danish Expo pavilion 2010 is the real deal, and not just endless talking. You can ride the city bike, take a swim in the harbor bath, and see the real Little Mermaid”, Founder of BIG, Bjarke Ingels

Shanghai Expo Danish Pavilion Danish Pavilion Shanghai Expo Shanghai Expo 2010 Danish Pavilion Shanghai Expo Denmark Pavilion
photos : Iwan Baan

The pavilion is designed as a traffic loop created by the motion of city bikes and pedestrians tied in a knot. Over 300 free city bikes located upon the roofscape, offer the visitors a chance to experience the Danish urban lifestyle which includes biking everywhere. The loops are connected in two places. Coming from the inside, the visitors can move out onto the roof, pick up a bike and re‐visit the exhibition by bike as the outdoor cycle path slips into the interior and runs along the entire exhibition before exiting onto the EXPO grounds. The sequence of events at the exhibition takes place between two parallel facades – the internal and external. The internal is closed and contains different functions of the pavilion. The width varies and is defined by the programme of the inner space. The pavilion’s external façade is made of perforated steel. In the evening time, the façade becomes a sequenced instrument of interactive light illuminating the passers‐by.

The exhibition can be experienced in two speeds, as a calm stroll with time to absorb the surroundings and as a dynamic bicycle trip, where the city and city life rush past. Like a Danish city, the Danish pavilion is best experienced on foot and by bike. This way, the pavilion’s theme Welfairytales (Welfare + Fairytales) re‐launches the bicycle in Shanghai as a symbol of lifestyle and sustainable urban development. When the Expo closes, the pavilion can be moved to another site in Shanghai and could function as a transfer point for Shanghai’s new city bikes.

“Sustainability is often misunderstood as the neo-protestant notion “that it has to hurt in order to do good”. “You’re not supposed to take long warm showers – cause wasting all that water it’s not good for the environment” or “you’re not supposed to fly on holidays – cause airtraffic is bad for the environment”. Gradually we all get the feeling that sustainable life simply is less fun than normal life. If sustainable designs are to become competitive it can not be for purely moral or political reasons – they have to be more attractive and desirable than the non-sustainable alternative. With the Danish Pavilion we have attempted to consolidate a handful of real experiences of how a sutainable city – such as Copenhagen – can in fact increase the quality of life” , Founder of BIG, Bjarke Ingels

The pavilion is a monolithic structure in white painted steel which keeps it cool during the Shanghai summer sun due to its heat‐reflecting characteristics. The roof is covered with a light blue surfacing texture, known from Danish cycle paths. Inside, the floor is covered with light epoxy and also features the blue cycle path where the bikes pass through the building. The steel of the facade is perforated in a pattern that reflects the actual structural stresses that the pavilion is experiencing making it a 1:1 stress test. The blue cycle path and white concrete surfaces will further define the arrival and exit areas.

Sitting in the harbor pool at the centre of the pavilion is the real Little Mermaid from the harbor of Copenhagen. As one of three of H.C. Andersen’s fables, who is affectionally known in China as An Tung Shung, which is read by every child in China, this will be seen as a gesture of cultural generosity between Denmark and China. While the mermaid is in Shanghai her place in Copenhagen will be replaced by Ai Wei Wei’s multimedia artwork, including a live broadcast of the statue in Shanghai. Other artists include Jeppe Hein from Denmark, who designed a ‘social bench’ that will run alongside the bicycle lane and adapts to its environment elastically by incorporating different functions including a bar for food and drink. The works of Martin De Thurah and Peter Funch are also included in the exhibition areas.

“Throughout the design and realization of the Danish Pavilion a wide range of disciplines, such as architecture, engineering, lighting design and art installations meld together to create a single structure that plays like a finely tuned instrument”, Project Leader of Danish Expo Pavilion 2010 and Partner in BIG, Finn Norkjaer.

Shanghai Expo Danish Pavilion – Building Information

PROJECT: Danish Pavilion at the EXPO 2010
SIZE: 3.000m2
CLIENT: EBST
COLLABORATORS: 2+1, Arup AGU, Arup Shanghai, Tongji Design Institute, Ai Wei Wei, Jeppe Hein, Martin De Thurah, Peter Funch
LOCATION: Shanghai, China
ARCHITECT: BIG
CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Bjarke Ingels
PARTNER-IN-CHARGE: Finn Norkjaer
TEAM: Tobias Hjortdahl, Jan Magasanik, Claus Tversted, Henrick Poulsen, Niels Lund Petersen, Kamil Szoltysek, Sonja Reisinger, Anders Ulsted, Jan Borgstrom, Pauline Lavie, Teis Draiby, Daniel Sundlin, Line Gericke, Armen Menendian, Karsten Hammer Hansen, Martin W. Mortensen, Kenneth Sorensen, Jesper Larsen, Anders Tversted

Danish Pavilion Shanghai Expo 2010 images / information from BIG

Shanghai Expo Danish Pavilion

Wellfairytale by BIG

The Danish Pavilion in Expo 2010 Shanghai is a loop, a velodrom and an interactive fairytale

Danish Pavilion Shanghai Expo 2010 Danish Pavilion Shanghai Expo Danish Pavilion Expo 2010

BIG, 2+1 and ARUP relaunch the bike as a modern and sustainable urban alternative to the increasing car traffic in Shanghai.The pavilion’s 1500 city bikes are offered for general use to the visitors during EXPO 2010. After the World Expo, it can be moved and relocated for example in People’s Park – as a transferium for the bikes of Shanghai. The building is a loop, housing the exhibition “wellfairytales” in a linear sequence.

Niels Lund Petersen, associate and project leader at BIG says: “The Danish pavilion should not only exhibit the Danish virtues. Through interaction, the visitors are able to actually experience some of Copenhagen’s best attractions – the city bike, the harbor bath, the nature playground and an ecological picnic”

Both Shanghai and Copenhagen are harbor cities. But in Denmark the polluted harbor activities have been replaced by harbor parks and cultural institutions, and the water is so pure that you can swim in it. In the heart of the pavillion you find the Mermaid pool, which is filled with sea water from Copenhagen’s harbor, brought to Shanghai on a tanker.

Danish Pavilion Expo 2010 Danish Pavilion Expo 2010 Danish Pavilion Expo 2010

The Chinese guest can swim in the pool, and not only hear about clean water, but feel and taste it. The sculptor Edvard Eriksen’s original Mermaid, will visit China, as a specific example of the pavilion offering a real experience of Danish urban life.

Mike Lippert, creativ director of 2+1 adds: “By lending out The Little Mermaid, not only do we offer the Chinese people an exclusive experience. Her trip will also be an event, which can create global media attention on Copenhagen. It’s a signal about a cultural open mindedness – we lend out one of our most important national symbols”
While the Little Mermaid is in Shanghai her usual location in Denmark Copenhagen will be occupied by the works of three leading Chinese artists. The artist will take turns in presenting their personal interpretation of the sculpture. The Little Mermaid is the main attraction in the pavilion, but the exhibition will focus on new Danish fairy tales. The visitors will meet the Danes and their way of life.

The World Expo aims to promote the exchange of ideas and development of the world economy, culture, science and technology, to allow exhibitors to publicize and display their achievements and improve international relationships. Accordingly, the World Expo with its 150-year history is regarded as the Olympic Games of the economy, science and technology.

Danish Pavilion Expo 2010 Danish Pavilion Expo 2010 Danish Pavilion Expo 2010 Danish Pavilion Expo 2010

The project is led by BIG’s founder Bjarke Ingels and associate Niels Lund Petersen in collaboration with idea bureau 2+1 and ARUP AGU. Ingels and Petersen’s previous collaborations include SLU – the redevelopment of Slussen in Stockholm, several international hotels, and recently TLT – a tilted high rise in China.
Flemming Borreskov, CO in Realdania states:”The winning project shows, in a very tangible way, that Denmark to a great extent can to contribute to the international scene, in regard to convincing solutions on future urban design and development. BIG’s project fully live up to the EXPO theme: “Better City – Better Life.”

Bjarke Ingels on the pavilion:
“The pavilion is designed, as a piece of Copenhagen’s bicycle track, tied as a knot. 1500 city bikes located at the roof scape, offer our Chinese hosts a chance to experience the Danish urban way. Thus, when you arrive to Expo, you visit Denmark, get a bike and explore the rest of the world!”

Bjarke Ingels on the content:
“When we visited the World Exhibition in Zaragossa, we were stunned by the artificial content. State propaganda in paper maché. The Danish Expo pavilion 2010 is the real deal, and not just endless talking. You can ride the city bike, take a swim in the harbor bath, and see the authentic Little Mermaid.”

Bjarke Ingels on the Little Mermaid:
“The purpose of moving The Little Mermaid is to show that open-mindedness doesn’t necessarily cause you to lose origin or culture. Typically, national symbols are static – a fortress or a tower which is unshakable. Lately, Denmark’s image as a tolerant and open-minded country has been at stake in the global media-scape. The perception of a nation, with a national symbol so dynamic that it can be moved to China for 6 months is a great way of showing that Denmark is still open-minded and liberal towards the rest of the world. “

Shanghai Expo Danish Pavilion Shanghai Expo Danish Pavilion Shanghai Expo Danish Pavilion Shanghai Expo Danish Pavilion

“It is also convenient that she is much easier to move than the Eiffel Tower”

”speaking of sustainability, it is considerably more resource efficient moving The Little Mermaid to China, than moving 1.3 billion Chinese to Copenhagen.”

Bjarke Ingels on BIG in China:
“The purpose of inviting some of the best Chinese modern artist to reinterpret The Little Mermaid is to get a new perspective on Denmark and Danish culture. We have realized that we can’t keep admiring our own mirrored image being a part of the global world and culture. We need to understand our fellow human beings on this planet and they need to do the same. Last week, we met Ai Wei wei in Beijing, and he has already accepted the invitation: I am looking forward to visiting Langelinie in 2010!”

”The Danish pavilion in Shanghai is a significant step in following and meeting the interest from abroad. It is our Project in China, where we have just won a contest …We have experienced a great deal of international interest, which beside Scandinavia includes ongoing projects in Eastern Europe, the Middle-East, Central-Asia and Asia. The urban development in for instance Dubai and Kuala Lumpur outdoes any development in Scandinavia in both complexity and ambition, which makes it to a unique laboratory for new architecture.”

BIG Architects


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