The sun is coming up

Monday 09 Nov 2009

Sun Valleys near completion at World Expo 2010

7 million visitors are expected to attend Shanghai's World Expo from May next year. The conference's theme - 'Better City, Better Life' - can be no better exemplified than in the architecture exhibited by the 200 participating countries. At the heart of the project lies the Expo Boulevard, the entrance point, commercial centre and exhibition space which connects with four major pavilions.

Expo Boulevard is the largest piece of architecture within the expo. It forms a 1 km walkway from the entrance and will be used as the navigation point from which all zones can be reached. Comprising six cone-shaped 'Sun Valleys' which form a canopy over the activities below, as the adjacent picture shows, the Boulevard is being constructed on a gigantic scale, with each Valley standing 40 m tall.

The Sun Valleys are constructed of plastic and steel and will be used to collect rainfall and direct sunlight into the underground levels of the Expo. They are also very complex designs containing approximately 10,000 joins all together, all of which are unique. Shen Di, chief architect of the Expo said: "The difficulties in building these Sunny Valleys are tremendous...The construction has to be very precise."

The World Expo will be under way from 1 May to 31 October next year.

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