Countdown begins for unveiling of Soma's curvaceous Thematic Pavilion in Yeosu
Soma‘s Thematic Pavilion, the major landmark building for this year‘s EXPO in Yeosu, South-Korea is close to completion. The official opening ceremony will take place on 12th May 2012. soma‘s design was chosen as the first prize winner in an open international architecture competition in 2009. The main design intent was to embody the EXPO‘s theme The living Ocean and Coast and transform it into a multi-layered spatial experience for visitors. The EXPO‘s ecological agenda, the promotion of a responsible use of natural ressources was not visually represented but actually embedded into the pavilion‘s architecture, e.g. through the sustainable climate design or the biomimetic approach of the kinetic façade.
Our twofold experience of the Ocean, as an endless surface and in an immersed perspective as depth inspired the building’s spatial and organizational concept. Continuous surfaces twist from vertical to horizontal orientation and define two contrasting exhibition spaces. The multimedia displays in the vertical cones invite the visitor to immerse into the Thematic Exhibition. The Best Practice Area on the horizontal platforms becomes a flexible stage for innovations and scientific research.
Continuous transitions between contrasting experiences also form the outer appearance of the pavilion. Towards the sea the conglomeration of solid vertical cones define a new meandering coast line, a soft edge that is in constant negotiation between water and land. Opposite side the pavilion develops out of the ground into an artificial roof–landscape with gardens and scenic paths. The topographic lines of the roof turn into lamellas of the kinetic media façade that faces the Expo’s entrance and draws attention to the pavilion at night.
During daytime the lamellas control interior light conditions. Individually actuated they enable a choreography of wavelike patterns along the whole length of the building. The innovative bionic façade was developed together with Knippers Helbig Engineers and deduced from plant movements. As a world novelty it combines technical innovation with a surprising and changeable presence that communicates the EXPO‘s agenda in an emotionally moving way.