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EXPO-AXIS, Shanghai, China

Thursday 28 Oct 2010

Gateway to the East

EXPO-AXIS by SBA GmbH in Shanghai, China
SBA GmbH, photos by Thomas Ott 
EXPO-AXIS by SBA GmbH in Shanghai, China EXPO-AXIS by SBA GmbH in Shanghai, China EXPO-AXIS by SBA GmbH in Shanghai, China EXPO-AXIS by SBA GmbH in Shanghai, China
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SBA's entrance building for EXPO 2010 in Shanghai 

The EXPO-AXIS, as the main entrance, and landmark building of EXPO 2010 in Shanghai, China, carries the idea of the EXPO spirit and EXPO theme. With a length of 1000 m and a width of more than 100 m, the EXPO-AXIS reaches from the main entrance square across the complete EXPO area and down to the banks of the Huangpu River. Such large scale makes the EXPO-AXIS unique and breaks the corresponding relationship between the urban exterior space, the architectural style and the architectural interior space. The borders between inside and outside dissolve, the building shows the interface of a distinguished static object and a dynamic and fluent texture.

The AXIS is one of five buildings that will remain standing after the world exhibition to later form the centre of a new quarter of Shanghai. As a public space boulevard or even built landscape with various functions on four levels, a balanced urban use mix, three metro stations and the preparation for a maglev station in the future, the EXPO-AXIS combines the client's demands for a building with European conceptions of public space. The four levels will be integrate daily facilities; retail, a shopping mall and offices. The ground level and the terrace will hold permanent exhibitions and various events. Restaurants and entertainment enliven the centre of the AXIS and the Ceremony Plaza at the banks of the Huangpu River will become a recreation area for people to relax in and enjoy.

As a 'town in town' concept the AXIS offers private and public space. To emphasise the spatial characteristic and orientation of each level, the four main pathways on each of the four levels are differently arranged. The 'sun valleys' support the orientation and traffic layout through their shape and position. As an orientation and viewing platform it not only offers stunning views but also a unique atmosphere characterised by the shading membrane roof and overhanging sun valleys.

The natural landscape along the building folds down to the -1 level and melts into the building itself. Wooden benches along the green ramp on the ground and -1 levels offer various resting possibilities. The singular commercial boxes, placed in the structure as buildings in a city, can be accessed from the vital pedestrian boulevard on -2 level and from the outside on -1 and street level. Several streets are crossing the all-around open structure, connecting both sides of the EXPO site. As in many other locations on the AXIS the borders between surrounding area and building, inside and outside, dissolve here, making the building not a barrier but an innovative example of the EXPO 2010 theme; 'Better City, Better Life'.

Key Facts

Status Completed
Value 0(m€)

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