The Chinese national pavilion is the largest of its kind at the Expo and most expensive, costing an estimated US$220 million. The 63-meter high pavilion, the tallest structure at the Expo, is called “The Crown of the East,” as it is meant to resemble an ancient Chinese crown with its distinctive roof, made of traditional dougong or brackets, which date back more than 2,000 years.
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 elements in traditional Chinese architecture. Dougong was widely used in the Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC-467 BC).
On April 25, 2007, the Organizer of Expo 2010 launched the solicitation of the architectural design plan of the China Pavilion for World Expo 2010 Shanghai, China. By June 15, 2007, the Organizer received 344 submittals from Chinese architects and design teams all over the world. After two rounds of judging by experts and an appraisal round, three plans were finally chosen and at last the “Oriental Crown” concept worked on by both the South China University of Technology and the Beijing Tsinghua Architectural Design & Consultation Co., Ltd, under Beijing Tsinghua University, originally designed by He Jingtang.
Exhibits: Terracota Warriors
Exhibits: Evolution of Chinese Cities
Once you reach the top floor of the China Pavilion, you enter a 15,800 square-meter exhibition space, starting at the upper core area where visitors will enjoy a multimedia film about the evolution of China’s cities.
Footprint of the East is the main part of the display, where visitors see an eight-minute film made by Lu Chuan, who is known for his films Kekexili: Mountain Patrol and City of Life and Death (Nanjing, Nanjing in Chinese). The film will be shown in a 700-seat theater.
“The film will use a poetic style to unfold China’s unprecedented process of urbanization, changes in urban construction over the past 30 years, and the zest of the Chinese people for urban construction and their triumphant faith in the future,” Lu Chuan said.
Exhibits: Along the River during the Qingming Festival
After watching an 8-minute film on the evolution of China’s cities and walk out of the projection center, you see another massive projection, this time of the painting Along the River During the Qingming Festival. The painting, depicting life in Bianjing (today’s Kaifeng, Henan Province), the largest city in the world more than 1,000 years ago, will be projected on a 100-meterlong wall.
Multimedia technologies will be used to make the more than 1,500 characters in the painting move around.