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Austrian Pavilion: imagination can go wild inside the curved walls

2010-02-08 14:51 BJT

Special Report: 2010 Shanghai Expo Countdown |

Theme: Austria - Harmony

Features: visitors will experience a walk through major mountain ranges, forests, grasslands, and a valley before they arrive in the city

Location: District C of the World Expo Park

From afar, it looks like a guitar lying on the ground. After walking into the "guitar," visitors can walk through major mountain ranges, through the forests and grassland, and then through a valley before reaching the city.

Design Sketch of the Austrian Pavilion

Design Sketch of the Austrian Pavilion

In the Shanghai World Expo Park, Alexander Jarau and his team from an Austrian architectural firm adopted bold and innovative ways to create a marvelous trip through time and space which allows the visitor throwing snow balls and also watching deer and squirrels.

"It will be more exciting than throwing snow balls in World Expo Park. In the Austrian Pavilion, no walls are made in the traditional straight up and down fashion with right angles, except the toilet facilities. The walls are at any angle you can imagine, such as arches, curves, and broken lines," said Brigit Murr, vice general representative of the Austrian Pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.

The design is well-grounded in many ways: in the chilly, whistling wind, visitors first enter into a high mountain area, and people will likely shiver in the low temperatures because 60 square kilometers of the area is covered by snow. The snow, ten centimeters deep in places, will creak and crunch underfoot with each step visitors make, who can from time to time hear the sound of oncoming avalanches. Making a snow ball and throw it against the wall, visitors can see it break into parts.

Down from the snowy mountains, visitors encounter a forest. Not far away, a timid deer is running into the deep forest. Walking in the forest of conifers, broad-leaved trees, berries and mushrooms, and surrounded by the smells from all these things, you might encounter a naughty squirrel jumping onto you in order to smell you. The rustling of the tree leaves and the singing of the birds mingle with occasional moaning and bellowing of forest beasts. Here, visitors can also see changes in color of the leaves due to the different seasons.

Walking across the forest, visitors are brought to a world of water. They can either stroll along the river or play in the water. Besides they can watch the fish and other animals from the primitive forests of central Europe and the Danube basin. After the snowy mountains, forests and lakes, visitors arrive at the last station, which is our home-city. There, Mozart and Strauss will welcome visitors in the city which covers 280 square kilometers in three main colors: green, red and blue. In the city, the magnificence of Austrian culture will be put on display, which includes schuhplattler, a classical music concert and international VJ night show.

"In this entire magical experience, snow is just about the only real thing, everything else is projection on the wall created by 72 projectors and 30 computers." According to Alexander, the walls should be designed based on specific scenes, which could make the effects more realistic. "My thanks should go to the designers and project management staff from Shanghai Xiandai Architectural Design Group, who have completed the structural design of the Austrian Pavilion with their stunning techniques, and transformed our ideas into actual plans for the buildings." Currently, the Austrian Pavilion is under construction. There is sincere cooperation between designers from China and abroad, and it is a partnership that will bring many surprises to visitors.

Editor: Shi Taoyang | Source: