Design for Beligum Pavilion for the Shanghai Expo 2010 based on human brain cell
In May 2010, Shanghai launched the World Expo 2010, expecting 70 million over the following months. Under the theme ‘Better City, Better Life’, countries across the world were invited to present and host their own architectural pavilions. In an area dedicated to European pavilions, a Belgian pavilion with a surface of about 5.250 sq m will be constructed.
The pavilion also accommodates the exposition hall of the European Union. The JV Realys (AOS Group) - Interbuild won the competition for the conception, realisation, maintenance and disassembling of the Belgian pavilion for the Shanghai 2010 Universal Exposition. The competition was won in collaboration with Conix Architects (architect), Jan Hoet Jr. (scenographer), JNC International (landscape architect), 3E (energy consultant) and CJI (Chinese contractor).
The pavilion was created around the structure of a 'Brain Cell', being the dominant conceptual image for the pavilion. It attempts to evoke the artistic richness of Belgium and Europe, as well as all its scientific achievements which contribute to the development and enrichment of cultural and intellectual patrimony. During the conceptual phase of the project, in close collaboration with Chinese partners, this image presented itself to Conix as an obvious choice to represent Belgium.
The Brain Cell also refers directly to the role of Belgium as one of Europe’s main gathering centres and cross-points of three great cultural traditions: the Latin, the Germanic and the Anglo-Saxon. Belgium, closely connected to its surrounding countries, has been considered by some as a ‘place of balance’ where people have gathered with common interests that surpass their national needs.
In contrast to the playful, organic and intriguing form of the Brain Cell, the exterior of the building refers to the pragmatism and the discretion typical of Belgium. A big roof structure offers a communal shelter, functioning as a flexible, pleasant and convivial public space, fully opened to the outside world.