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Shanghai World Expo: SPAIN PAVILION

The Spain Pavilion, designed by architect Benedetta Tagliabue, cleverly mixes the concept of sustainability —represented by the 8,524 wicker panels, a traditional material and a handcraft technique used both in China and in Spain […]

The Spain Pavilion, designed by architect Benedetta Tagliabue, cleverly mixes the concept of sustainability —represented by the 8,524 wicker panels, a traditional material and a handcraft technique used both in China and in Spain—, along with that of scientific and technological innovation, as shown by the technical complexity of the pavilion’s steel and glass structure.The space spanning 7,000 square meters was designed to be a hand-weaved wicker basket structure supported by the steel framework inside.

For its design, EMBT Miralles-Tagliabue was awarded by the World Architecture Festival (WAF) 2009 in the ‘Future Projects’ category and obtained the Ciutat de Barcelona Award for the building with the best international projection, also in 2009. All the panels covering it travelled from Shandong province to be hooked, one by one, over 25 kilometers of tubular steel.

Shanghai World Expo: Spanish Pavilion
Spain Pavilion at Shanghai World Expo
Shanghai World Expo: SPAIN PAVILION
Internal structure of the Spain Pavilion at Shanghai World Expo

The pavilion contains three exhibition halls which will take visitors through time and space to see city development in Spain with the theme of “From the City of Our Parents to the City of Our Children.”

Exhibits: Origins

From the mosque of Cordoba to Picasso’s Guernica, Spanish director Bigas Luna condenses a project both aesthetic and narrative in which he partakes as both film maker and painter.

Shanghai World Expo: SPAIN PAVILION
“Origins” Exhibit in the Spain Pavilion at Shanghai World Expo

History begins in nature, in almost complete darkness and surrounded by a space of cold and rugose walls resembling a cave. Fire, sea and earth. It is the primitive and the atavistic, the soul of a country with powerful creative strength. A flint stone explicitly brought from the Atapuerca desert (cradle of the first Europeans) will represent this origin. In the midst of a fireball’s roar and a storm that represents time immemorial, a forest of bones arises. The form of a woman, a ballerina risen on a platform, plays with these bones to produce a dance of celebration, the Atapuerqueña, a flamenco choreography that will end up with red everywhere.

Exhibits: Cities

Created by famous Spanish film maker Basilio Martín Patino, presenting a narrative of ever-changing Spanish urban landscapes from the perspectives of people from different ages, including the “urban rush” rural communities in the 1960s, and the global age we are living in.

Shanghai World Expo: SPAIN PAVILION
“Cities”, by Basilio Martín Patino at the Spain Pavilion

A spiral room equipped with a multi-screen system (five bands spread throughout the space like vast canvases that cross over each other) will condense the film devoted to urban life into seven minutes.

Exhibits: Children and Baby Miguelín

The Spanish Pavilion at Shanghai 2010 ends with a dream. The future, as seen by film maker Isabel Coixet, is a place for hope and promises of a better world. A screen will project images of small children who will greet the visitors, “Hola”, “Nihao”, in Spanish and Chinese.

Our urbanites of tomorrow introduce us to an atmosphere of magical daydreaming sought by the director. The baby Miguelín, 6.5 meters tall, can “breathe and blink.” Miguelín greets visitors in the cradle at the final exhibition section.

Shanghai World Expo: SPAIN PAVILION
Baby Miguelín at the Spain Pavilion

By Itamar Medeiros

Originally from Brazil, Itamar Medeiros currently lives in Germany, where he works as Lead Product Design Strategist at SAP and promotes User Experience Design as visiting lecturer at Köln International School of Design. Working in the Information Technology industry since 1998, Itamar Medeiros has helped truly global companies in several countries (Argentina, Brazil, China, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Mexico, The Netherlands, Poland, United Arab Emirates, United States) create great user experience through advocating Design and Innovation principles. During his 7 years in China, he championed the User Experience Design discipline as User Experience Manager at Autodesk and Local Coordinator of the Interaction Design Association (IxDA) in Shanghai

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