Monday, June 28, 2010

Travels: The China Pavilion, Shanghai Expo 2010

The China Pavilion, also known as "The Crown of the East," is the most prominent pavilion in the Expo, not only because of it size, being the tallest building in the Expo, but also due to its location being the nearest pavilion to the main entry points. The structure has a distinctive roof, designed based on the concept of traditional dougong or brackets, an important element in Chinese architecture which date back more than 2,000 years in the Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC-467 BC). The dougong style features wooden brackets fixed layer upon layer between the top of a column and a crossbeam. This unique structural component of interlocking wooden brackets is one of the most important characteristics in traditional Chinese architecture, and its adaptation into a modern pavilion structure is not only appropriate but highly symbolic of China’s approach towards modernization; highly progressive but with continued emphasis on heritage and tradition.

The facade cladding by Hunter Douglas come in seven different shades of red, intended to maintain consistency of colour temperature from top to bottom when viewed from afar. If only one shade of red were used on this pavilion, the top portion, because of its distance from the viewer’s eye view, would have appeared to be faded due to the massive scale of this remarkable edifice.

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