Malaysia Pavilion for Shanghai World Expo 2010

1252951235-20968Construction for the Pavilion for Shanghai World Expo began a couple of weeks ago. The 3,000-square-meter pavilion will be like a traditional and high Malaysian hut. The facade of the pavilion will be made from a combination of palm oil and plastic, which will be recycled for other constructions after Expo.

The country will showcase its natural landscape and the solidarity of its different ethnic groups with the theme “One Malaysia — City Harmonious Living.” Malaysia has 47 ethnic groups, who live comfortably together in urban and rural areas. The country would highlight the harmonious conditions and interactivity between cities and villages, Malaysian Tourism Minister Ng Yen Yen said.

Visitors will be able to pitch and putt at an indoor golf area in the two-story pavilion. The pavilion would hold lucky draws on key days during the Expo, such as August 31, Malaysia’s national day, and May 31 when and Malaysia set up diplomatic relationships, Ng said.

More images and a video after the break.

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Cite: Jordana, Sebastian. "Malaysia Pavilion for Shanghai World Expo 2010" 17 Sep 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 29 May 2015. <>
  • Indo_Mas

    Hi Malaysian,

    Dengan sukacitanya saya ingin memaklumkan kepada kerajaan malaysia setingi tiggi terima kasih kerana mempromosikan rumah MINANGKABAU (asal dari Indonesia)… Read More
    di World Expo China 2010 di tapak kepunyaan Malaysia.

    Dengan itu saya turut berterima kasih kepada Dr Ng Yen Yen kerana mempromosikan budaya Indonesia(MINANGKABAU) di negara China .

    Oleh yang demikian, Indonesia tidak akan membelanja dalam World Expo ini kerana Malaysia dengan sebesar hatinya menderma 19 juta untuk mempromosikan Indonesia pavilion.

    Bah kata ….ini semua memanfaatkan seluruh asia

    …design dari china, pelarasan dari Taiwan,dibina oleh China,dibayar oleh Malaysia dan manfaat kepada Indonesia.SYABAS MALAYSIA!


    Sekian terima kasih,

    ….a comment found from the link below “”

    • mas2pek

      you will be wiser to translate this to english on an international english forum, if not, everyone will just ignore your comment.

      • zizi

        see comment below about indonesia and malaysia. same point

    • budak_melayu_riau

      well mr indo_mas..that design actually it is not come from rumah gadang “minangkabau”at should be careful before making the statement..
      melayu or malay as well is not about the nation between indonesia and malaysia at all..
      all i can say that that pavilion design come from the traditional house of malay people,
      you can search at google with “rumah lontiak”that also can be find in riau(indonesia) as means “lentik”in indonesian then you’ll know what’s the diffrent with the malaysian pavilion design,it’s has “selembayung” at the top of the roof,well all i can say that it is so diffrent from traditional house of minang kabau from indonesia..

      • yudi (jakarta)

        Just copy pasted from wikipedia:

        The Malaysia Pavilion.Malaysia’s low tech pavilion showcases rural building with Minangkabau’s “Rumah Gadang” architecture. After the Expo, the pavilion is to be donated to the county of Wuxi in the People’s Republic of China. Controversies have perhaps ensued as the pavilion boasts a miniature indoor golf course which has nothing to do with Malaysian culture as well as the Minangkabau’s building style which originates from Indonesia.[40]

        Many locals are not very proud of the designs as they see it as backward-looking instead of embracing the future when the rest of the world is doing so.[41]

        The Malaysia Minister of Tourism is seen by some as having given up on showcasing Malaysian technology as she said although Malaysia could not compete with developed countries like Germany and Switzerland in terms of technology, Malaysia had its uniquity of being multi-racial and multi-cultural.[42]

        [edit] Malta

  • Knok Knok

    Looks like a US I-95 Mahi Mahi restaurant, or worst a pop glossy version of traditional representation…You choose.

  • big


    • themigz

      i think it would be inappropriate to say “steal” someone’s culture. after all the south east asian countries all started from the MALAY race. including Indonesia and Malaysia.

      • yudi (jakarta)

        steal is the negative word but according to the statement that the pavillion is adapted from Minangkabau Architecture which is it obvious not originally Malaysian Traditional Architecture, extremely they copied the rooftop without any concern of traditional architeckture code itself. Did they put their own origin architecture traditional is more better than adapt from another country? That the consequences somebody can say steal.

    • onemalaysia

      malaysia also d same continent with indonesia b4, after all, malaysia do appreaciate gadang house, gonjong roof rather than indonesia, right? indonesia descendant was shipping to negeri sembilan, malaysia, n influence malaysian architecture here~

  • Denny Setiawan

    this building shows us that malaysia doesn’t have any good sense of their local architecture. this pavilion was adopted from minangkabau culture. For your Information, Minangkabau is originally a legacy of indonesian culture an malaysia doesn’t have any right to adopt this culture as their own.

    as indonesian architect, i felt so upset with this provocative action. i guess that malaysia doesn’t have enough architecture idea resources until he adopt indonesia’s original architecture as their own.

    • anon

      this is what happens when you get a pharmaceutical company to to erect your nation’s architectural showcase to the world

      this is what happens when you get someone who was once rumored to possess an australian pr to be your tourism minister

      this is what happens when you let a tendering process riddled with controversy and question marks to go through and make its way to the shanghai world expo

      and thank god this only happens in malaysia

      in a way the pavilion is quite a true and honest representation of what’s happening in malaysia.

      the pavilion is very malaysian!malaysia boleh!

      • JC Malaysian

        I heard that the design was done by a Shanghai company and the Tourism Minister’s son has a share in the pharmaceutical company!

    • bill

      then stay in your country, and take back all of indonesian worker from Malaysia.

      we as Malaysian know that minangkabau is from Indonesia.but long time ago A MIGRATION HAPPENS! Indonesian came to Malaysia and built their culture should know that.


      • dandang gendhis

        Well … once I heard that Petronas Twin Tower builder (the worker) came from Indonesia. If all the Indonesian worker out from Msia … then … could you imagine what happen? … >:) well you still have other countries worker then.


  • JP

    cruz credo!

  • v

    How about that national pride you got malaysia? The ones that look like giant twin-cocks? What a bad taste of architecture really, rubbish. They still need a bridge to shore each others up, eh? Limp dick! Yes exactly, just like the ppl and their small wieners. Got nothing creative, all about stealing, mega pathetic!

    • hp

      i ve got nothing against you if you scold us for stealing minangkabau from you/your country… but please visit the twin tower again… put aside all the controversial issue, and look from your personal (if not architecture) point of view, if that is a great building or not… i think it is. phew, i am glad to know that the beautiful bridge has such a technical function.

    • idiotREDindons

      yeah, aside that indonesia doesnt even have a modern monument to be proud of. all that it have is some dusty temples.

    • big

      HEY V, I’m also Indonesian… but I think it’s not necessary to talk like that in this decent and International forum.
      We can defend our culture as much as w can, but please don’t open a door for a bad image.

      tank you

  • ray

    looks like minangkabau traditional house btw

  • Joshua

    Wow, I never relaized there was such a rivalry.

    This thread is like being at yankee stadium when they’re playing the red sox.

    • big

      we didn’t start it, even their petronas tower stole our concept of Prambanan Temple.
      and Batik?? it is an Indonesian for sure.

      @ Ray: they did stated that they took the inspiration from Minangkabau traditional architecture.

      nuff said

      • hp

        petronas tower derived from the HINDU TEMPLE of Prambanan Tower??… lucky we have only two of it…

        i see many similar churches around in europe… who copied who?… or uncivilized-ly put, who stole whose idea?…

        man, does it matter?….

        by the way, you should be proud that ‘your’ towers were used as a reference…unfortunately in this case, not so… the pattern of the petronas building was derived from islamic geometrical shape. rotated squares stacked on each other…

        and fyi, the architecture of java is basically the legacy of many successive influences by the Indians, the Persians and the Arabs, the Chinese, and the Europeans… so, who is copying who….?…

        influnce is a basic thing in general, the fact that malaysia and indonesia has a very similar language proves that culturally we are related… for goodness sake…

        fyi, just in case you do not know, fries are not french, they are believed to be belgians …so what???…

      • Aghast

        Big, get over yourself.

      • jonathan

        wow, nicely said hp. at last somebody civilized enough to say something like that.

        if you want to argue about copying, might as well tear down those buildings that take reference from the greek and roman temples…

      • Ken

        hai big,
        i think u should surf around youtube looking for the design process n conceptual stage before the construction start.

        how is cesar pelli and our PM that time discuss about the tower design

      • DannyJ

        yup big..i dont know about the petronas towers..
        but, for this one..enough is said, they did say ‘minangkabau traditional arch’.
        who knows maybe there are traces of it in malaysia..
        but stay away from ‘batik’ and ‘tari pandet’..

      • azlan aziz

        Its sad to see the malays(indonesian+malaysian) fighting about this culture stuff..its obvious that we came from the same bloodline..

        my mother’s ancestors originate from jakarta and we always go to visit our relatives there. imma very proud bout it =)….so why wanna making a big scene bout it ??

        its assimilation of culture that we cannot stop for god sake…and do please grow up and think with ur head before u speak..

        Its a shame to me as a half-blood of an Indonesian and malaysiaan to see this..

        this stupid so-called “malingsia” agenda is so stupid..and i know universities in Indonesia promote this agenda …

        what loss to one great culture that only seperates from geographical properties…

        hell to illuminaty!!!

      • zizi

        @hp: but they dont CLAIM it. malaysian do that. claim this one, then this one blabla

    • LadyD

      Trust me.. as malaysia living in US.. its worst that a 49ner fan vs Raiders!

  • Wargo

    Is a malasian fast-food?

    • Ken

      ya.. is a thing that can eat

  • designjunkie

    geez…how shallow can the malaysian government get?…..this is evidence that the decision makers for the design are ignorant of the culture/identity of what should actually be a forward looking/visionary proposal, akin to what was thought to be built when they conceived putrajaya city…not this ‘minangkabau’ crap….

    I’m sorry to have said this….because I’m malaysian and I know we can do WAY better than this crap.

  • atmoko

    poor malaysia,,,,!!

  • kezia

    tsk, why dont they explore them self??
    why should they promoted our Minangkabau house?
    “mempromosikan rumah MINANGKABAU (asal dari Indonesia)”??

    bad habit,,
    promoted other nation’s architecture, in THEIR SITE (in shanghai expo), under THEIR NAME (malaysian pavilion).
    similarity or clearly stealing!

    • idiotREDindons

      arent you even a minang decendant?

      • kezia

        i’m sorry idiotREDindons, i’m not minang decendant,
        my word “our” is refers to indonesian’s,

        still, i keep searching the connection between malaysia and minangkabau…negeri sembilan and padang.
        (maybe there somethn that i dont know, i shouldn’t judge that soon)

        according to the video “Work on Malaysia Pavilion begins” in youtube, the minister of tourism malaysia said that it is not typically minangkabau,which is two buffalo horns, while malaysia’s is a tilted rooftop… so? is it?

    • mas2pek

      PLEASE READ what akimizaru and ellen said.

      you just proved yourself foolish.

    • mas2pek

      kezia, PLEASE READ what akimizaru and ellen said above.

      you just proved yourself foolish

  • T.Nowicki

    this is evil



    • QFWFQ

      文化落后的国家 只有强调民族风格才能建立点自信。
      马来西亚 尼泊尔和中国馆都是这样

      • XYZ


      • lyn


      • 中国人

        中国是文化落后的国家? 那你写的是什么字??

    • Denny Setiawan

      it wasn’t political matter, it is a cultural an architectural matter. this the fact that this pavilion is “over-inspired” by another countries traditional houses *i don’t want to use word steal, even they do*.

      another fact, not politic who always influence the architecture, but architecture who always make influence to the politic. this issue was one of them, Malaysian behavior which is over inspired by another country make the political issue getting worse.

      can malaysian stop it? hmm.. i guess not, it is not architecture or politic matter, but, it was a mentality matter which never change.

      sorry, if you were not agree, prove it by your architecture

      • mas2pek

        yes i disagree.

        architecture should influence politics. yes. but this require the effort of the entire body of malaysian architects.

        in this case, politics influenced architecture. and if you are an architect, you should know many other examples of this as part of your architecture education. its not the most ideal scenario, but it happened.

        I find your comment to be somewhat rude and insulting on an extreme shallow level. You are implying that this is a mental issue with the whole culture of Malaysia while you failed to understand that the culture of any society, is constantly changing and evolving.

        An apology would be appreciated or else you are just a somewhat shallow person to discuss with.

      • architorture

        Hearing u’re an architect and u make such comments..i really wonder how far of an architect you are.

        I disagree with you on the ‘stealing’ and agree with you on architecture influences the politics.

        Malaysia is formed by multiple states combined together and the minangkabau influence came together with the people from Indonesia (it wasn’t called indonesia back then) to Malaysia.

        But honestly, I find it quite stupid to build a pavilion with the minangkabau style literally. Of all chances to boast how advance the architecture is in Malaysia, they decided to design something traditional. I looks just like a minangkabau house but in a much larger scale. Archi students could design a hell lot better in their studio classes.

        Who ever the architect is..or who ever who approved such designs to be used in the expo..its really disgraceful.

  • oscar falcón lara

    The pattern on the roof is a nice detail. That’s it.

  • KJS

    Wow, some Indonesians are apparently a little miffed!

    Just a little bit of historical info: there have been Minangkabau people in Negeri Sembilan (Malaysia) since the 15th century. I daresay, then, that Minangkabau architectural heritage is as much a part of the modern nation of Malaysia as it is a part of the modern nation of Indonesia.

  • akimizaru

    from the judgement made by indonesian above, i would say that they not have very mature architecture minded.Raising up not-to-standard issue here and also always self-claim this and that.Whats your problem?Did you learn any history of architecture?The globalization of architecture civilization?What a narrow minded with your people even there is some comment from professional architect.Its look like you try to become a founder in architecture by dress up issue of temple,batik and so on.What a boring matters.

    • ellen

      Well said. It really becomes boring when people run around gnawing on a bone and barring teeth like some wild pack animals.

      Architecture and preserving authenticity? Please, wake up and stop being so naive.

      So what if such and such and so and so copies etc. and etc. Let them! People who replicate and reproduce something without capturing the substance or fundamentals will never ‘get’ the essense that makes a project in a league of their own. The best of us will no doubt look at it and realise in an instance that what is produced will merely be the execution of an inferior idea. And this is not just in reference to the project above too. It’s applicable to all the so-called contemporary fruit salad architecture that gets slapped on all the glossies and design websites.

      And they way some of you comment leavers keep on going on and on about who stole from whom shows that you…probably don’t get it either.

      • mas2pek

        I couldnt agree with you and akimizaru more.

    • dandang gendhis

      Its not just because the Minangkabau architecture, please understand that … this issue is not the only issue that ‘Malaysia’ claims Indonesia cultures. Thats why Indonesian expressed such attitude in this forum. Im am not architect by the way, my brother is. Have you heard of Romo Mangun Wijaya … he’s an ‘Architect’ the good one.

  • theChavacano

    Let me guess inside is a theme restaurant with minnie dress on a Malaysian outfit, hahahaha, this is not architecture this is las vegas meets disney meets pseduo world fair, the worst world fair ever, I miss Seville 92 :)

  • aufi alwi

    using a traditional house in malaysia as an idea for a pavilion is a great idea. But this is clearly not well executed.

  • panza

    malaysian or indonesian, either, I don’t feel it is a good piece of architecture

    • aufi alwi

      well malaysian or indonesian indigenous architecture is not known for its fancy shape or form, but how it adapt to its surrounding, and environment

  • JP

    this is a Pavilion in a World Expo, right? a representative architecture extracted from its context. what do you mean with surrounding, and environment in this case?

  • dillen

    Yet another travesty for the Expo. Every single entry I’ve seen so far was horrible. This might just top it.

    Even ignoring the historic/cultural part… just LOOK AT THIS THING. It would be horrible even for a Vegas themed fast food restaurant.

  • b

    panza do you think you good in architecture, you’r so swanky. furthermore if your country have a good architecture, you arent part of it.

    hahahahahahaha….i now you will offended, thats my purpose.sory.

  • NIM

    This is also similar to the Thai pavilion for this Expo, not particularly in style but in its pathetic struggle for authentic national identity.

    While some countries are fortunate to have chance looking at this World Expo as a platform experimenting with technology or creativity, most South East Asian countries look at it as a tourism fair by continually repeating their exotic styles. Consequently, the point discussing who stole from who is missing the point. Not simply because they are based on the same region but most importantly they can not escape the image initially imposed upon them since colonial time.

    This orientalism now is in reverse in which the image projected to the east is reproduced sending back to the West (and the world) again and again. They can be only superficial representations of imagined national identities. There is no essence to be discovered. At best, beyond styles, these pavilions represent well the corrupt political processes of the region.

    • AC

      well said, NIM.

  • Neutral

    Architecture wise… i don’t think it’s a good piece of architecture.

    Culture wise… it really doesn’t matter whether Minangkabau culture is Malaysian or Indonesian. What’s with this idea of stealing? what’s with this Indonesia-wannabe? The biggest joke of all time. Who on earth wants to be born in this under-developed poverty-stricken country? How funny. Many countries in this world do share the same cultural root. The essential point is how they move on to develop their countries. Just look at the state of Indonesia and you’ll know how the mentality of the people has led to the pathetic state of their own country. Poor thing.

  • frustrated

    sad….we keep coming up with the same old modernised traditional house every time we need to showcase our country to others….its high time for a bit of originality….there are many, many cultural references in the country that could be used to create a good building we can all be proud of….

  • vibenade


  • Bush

    I don’t know what is going on between malaysia and indonesia, but i can clear see that malaysia have a crisis identity problem.

  • casa

    i wonder VIETNAM have a pavillon in ShangHAi expo ?? i dont listen for a competition for it

    • WEe

      Yes, Vietnam has one designed by Vo Trong Nghia Architects

  • revi

    Malaysia is such a damn not creative at all……yeaakk !!

    • aufi alwi

      is not malaysian that are not creative. but the company that was appointed are not. very not creative. and BTW the project is being awarded to those that are politically close to the tourism minister. some say it. but I wont judge