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Discover Danish Expo Pavilion’s Position in Shanghai: Experiencing Denmark

The Danish Pavilion at Shanghai's World Expo 2010, designed by BIG, has opened to the public and will provide its visitors a Danish city life. BIG's architecture is a result of contemporary life analysis, due to the influence of multicultural exchange, global economic flows and communication technologies that together require new ways of architectural and urban organization. Now, BIG, will provide visitors with the opportunity to try some aspects of Danish city life in Shanghai.

BIG's architecture emerges out of a careful analysis of how contemporary life constantly evolves and changes, not least due to the influence of multicultural exchange, global economic flows and communication technologies that together require new ways of architectural and urban organization. Now, BIG, which has been responsible for the Danish pavilion at EXPO 2010 has understood the importance of life style design and will give visitors the opportunity to try some aspects of Danish city life: through interaction the visitors are able to experience some of Copenhagen's attractions:

• the city bike
• the harbor bath
• playground settings
• picnic on the roof garden
• 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", explained Bjarke Ingels, the founder of BIG.

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 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 - because wasting all that water is not good for the environment" or "you're not supposed to fly on holidays - because air traffic 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 sustainable city - such as Copenhagen - can in fact increase the quality of life", Founder of BIG, Bjarke Ingels

Strategy to Connect China and Denmark
The harbor pool at the center of the pavilion is the real Little Mermaid from the harbor of Copenhagen. As one of three of H.C. Andersen's stories: who is much known in China as An Tung Shung and read by many children in China. This will be seen as a gesture of cultural generosity between Denmark and China. While the mermaid is in Shanghai (expected to boost the number of people going to visit the Danish pavilion), her place in Copenhagen will be replaced by a live broadcast of the statue in Shanghai and Ai Wei Wei's multimedia artwork, including

"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

Here are the visuals:

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 program 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 pavilion is designed as a traffic loop created by the motion of city bikes and pedestrians tied in a knot.

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.

PROJECT: Danish Pavilion at the EXPO 2010
SIZE: 3.000m2
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
Photos: Iwan Baan

About BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group

BIG currently comprises a group of architects, designers, and creative thinkers operating within the fields of architecture, urbanism, research, and development which are comprised of over 20 nationalities. The office is currently involved in a large number of projects throughout Europe, Asia and North America.

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