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Finnish Pavilion: the high-tech "Kirnu" has a warm heart

2009-12-25 14:58 BJT

Special Report: Shanghai World Expo 2010 |

Designed by JKMM, an architect's office in Helsinki, Kirnu won first prize in the design competition announced in May 2008, which received 104 entries in all.

The construction of the Finnish Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo 2010 has now reached the rooftop. The Kirnu-shaped architecture attracted much attention out of curiosity.

Finnish Pavilion: the high-tech "Kirnu" has a warm heart
Finnish Pavilion: the high-tech "Kirnu" has a warm heart

Pertti Huitu, commissioner general of Finland for the Shanghai World Expo 2010, said that building a white "Kirnu" ("Giant's Kettle") in China is intended to convey the meaning expressed by the verse, "my icy heart is still in a jade pot," which was written by Wang Changling, a poet in the Tang Dynasty. The huge investment and the activities to be held in the Kirnu demonstrate Finland's "warm heart" towards China.

Build "Kirnu" with high tech

The story of Finland begins in the times of the ice ages. During the Ice Age, Finland was covered by a several-kilometer-thick layer of ice, whose movement shaped the coastline, lakes, and islands of our land. The Ice Age also created giant's kettles, cavities naturally formed in bedrock as a result of the heavy ice drilling stones through the bedrock. A hollow space resembling a giant's kettle can also be found in the center of the Finnish pavilion, Kirnu.

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Finland pavillion at 2010 Shanghai World Expo

What the architects say...


Finnish Pavilion Kirnu

The white outer wall of the Kirnu seems to be made of ice bricks, but actually the ice brick is a new compound of paper and plastic. The compound, which is made of label paper and plastic scrapes, is solid, wear-proof, low in water content, light and colorfast. The Finland-made construction material will be extensively applied and showcased at the Shanghai World Expo 2010 for the first time so as to represent the Finnish Pavilion's eco-friendliness and the theme of "sharing inspiration."

The top of the Kirnu is bowl-shaped in order to make it well-ventilated. In addition, solar panels can be laid on the top to power the refrigeration equipment and other facilities in the pavilion. Plants are grown on the roof so as to provide shade to combat the sweltering summer in Shanghai, and to recycle rain. The new pavilion, just like a miniature eco-city, represents the great importance that Finland has attached to the concept of sustainable development and the country's leading urban architecture design.

Almost half of the 3,000-square-meter Finnish Pavilion is covered by water. The shimmering pool and the small bridge above it make the Kirnu more attractive and enhance the light and shadow effects.


Build sauna for visitors

Though the Kirnu looks icy in appearance and even makes people feel cold, it is very hot from within. The only sauna in the Shanghai World Expo Park is located in the Kirnu. Covering an area of over 100 square meters, the sauna is big enough to hold 10 to 15 people. According to sources, despite a population of only 5.3 million, there are 500,000 saunas in Finland, which means every family in the country has a sauna. In the summer, the Finns will take more saunas as weather gets hotter.

"In Finland, people have saunas to rest and chat with others, "we built hot saunas in the Kirnu to enable Chinese visitors to have deeper understanding about Finnish customs and culture, "Huitu said.

There are also many interactive activities that remain "confidential" during the eye-catching demonstrations in the Kirnu to make visitors excited. During the six-month Shanghai World Expo2010, the Finnish culture will be promoted in the form of music, and a series of performances, including pop, rock and classical music, symphonies, ballets, operas and children's dramas will be presented.

Huitu has acted as the commissioner general of Finland for the Hannover Expo 2000 and as commissioner general of the Nordic Countries for the Aichi Japan Expo 2005. He said, "Finland has never spent so many resources to promote its culture as it did at the Shanghai World Expo 2010 since it has attended the World Expos.

According to sources, the scale of Kirnu is on a par with the National Museum of Finland with a total investment of about 14 million euros. Huitu said, "Finland spares no expense to attend the Shanghai World Expo 2010 which represents Finland's warm heart towards China."

Visit the official website of Finland at World EXPO 2010 Shanghai China:

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Editor: Shi Taoyang | Source: