Shanghai’s World Expo under the banner of “better city, better life” showcases the latest green technology from 189 countries. As many as 300 pavilions cover a 5 kilometre square area to make it the most ambitious World Expo to date.It is a place where imagination and reality merge to create a vision of the cities of the future.
The Italians have created a pavilion which acts as a bioclimatic machine. The exterior and interior are designed to save the maximum amount of energy.
A new transparent cement is used and the building is decorated by on three sides by a film of water, which reflects the structure giving it a shimmering profile.
The pavilion’s architecht is Giampaolo Imbrighi:
“ We only used eco-friendly, recyclable or recycled materials. Its a bioclimatic structure. Air currents rise inside the building between the central square and the side alley’s which are the architectural core of the building. The air current flows towards the outside through the windows, reducing the need for energy.”
The Irish exhibit contrasts the rural and the urban for an efficient utilisation of space in future cities.
Denmark has used the humble bike, the greenest mode of transport, in its design as visitors cycle round the exhibit in a representation of Danish urban life.
It is a monolithic structure in white painted steel, which attempts to highlight that sustainability is not just sacrifice but improves the quality of life.
The Finns look to the long-term through its use of a new recycled material which adorns the outside of the building.
Mikko Pustinen is the Finland Pavilion Deputy Commissioner:
“Tons and tons of waste paper and plastic have produced the shingles of the Finland pavilion.
In order to be sustainable I think we need to be not just high-tech, but also smart, so how to
do things. Many times the solutions are quite practical. Inside of the pavilion we’ve been using
the direction of the windows, using white colour instead of black colour, so we can reduce the
amount of energy that is used inside the pavilion”.
Inside the expo there is a site called the Urban Best Practices area. The space showcases various state-of-the-art and experimental concepts from across the globe all of which have huge potential for the cities of the future.
The Alsace Case pavilion has recreated the solar wall prototype of the innovative Bouxwiller High School.
Lang Fan designed the pavilion:
“The water a solar wall, the side wall and the vegetation allows the construction to breath.”
In summer, 8 cubic metres of water fall in a continuous stream on the inner glass surface:
the external panes are open, and circulating air acts as a cooling system for the building. In
winter no water is used, the external panes close up and the air between the two glass skins heats up to provide its heating system.
Lang Fan continues:
“This system can be regarded as an eco-conditioning is a bit like the human skin.
That means, when it’s cold cells are closed and when it’s hot the cells open.”
Sustainable urbanisation, technological advancement and utilisation of cultural heritage along with common sense are all on show in Shanghai.