Mexico Pavillion for Shanghai World Expo 2010


Mexican architects SLOT won an international competition to design the Mexican Pavilion for the World Expo Shanghai 2010. The pavilion’s design is born from the idea of representing through its traditional elements which haven’t been exploited in these kinds of fairs. The proposal scheme is centered around the idea of creating a green space within the expo which at the same time represents our preoccupation to offer a better life standard for cities through the recovery of green areas rather than creating a protagonist building.

The Mexican pavilion is a volume defined by a talud (slope) which transforms itself into a plaza privileging public space as an urban gesture within the expo. Space is divided in three levels which represent three different moments of urban life in our country. The past is represented on the plinth, present time Mexico at the entrance level, and future on the platform.

The pavilion’s main feature lies within the design of the papalotes (kites), a word that comes from the Nahuatl papalotl which means butterfly, used as a cultural meeting point between mexican and chinese cultures. Our proposal is to look into a future with areas which are thought, destined and planned specifically for leisure, the recovery of parks and green areas, where new generations might meet in a city with a “better living”. More images and a video after the break.

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Cite: Jordana, Sebastian. "Mexico Pavillion for Shanghai World Expo 2010" 27 Nov 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 28 May 2015. <>
  • GoP

    Wow! So much work and material for some ogly umbrellas?!

    • dUFFY

      lol//// kinda sad but its true

  • TM

    What´s “ogly”?


  • Dandee

    they are not umbrellas but kytes

  • Rob.i

    are you sure we can call this architecture? “business”, i think that that is the right word. they designed this building just to impress, and they did it just for business. do you really think that something like this can influence the architecture in the future?

    • bobb.i

      you are right, i would call it “exhibition architecture”, after all this is a fair stand. Though it is a really big one ;). And in this regard i think it is quite well done, an entertaining space, that seems to transport a lot of information. Nothing wrong with that and the best stand i have seen sofar on archdaily for this expo…

      • Rob.i

        i agree, it’s well done, but only from that point of view, the point of view that considers this just like an “exhibition architecture” that have to impress at first glance. as i said, i don’t think that it’s necessary to analyse it like a real piece of architecture.

        anyway, this is the third time i see this project and now it’s already boring. plus, i guess that it’s much more impressing on the renderings that in the reality.

        i prefer the macau pavillion, in that case the aim of the design is very clear, they wanted to do something funny, and they did it!

  • alejandro

    Nice concept, well thought!

    • God

      woooowww!!!, this post had only 2 days here and is the most comented in weeks… thats really fun!!. considering that is a very ridiculous concept of mexico.

      jajaja… but… could be worse… really worse

  • very

    impressive video, but the concept works not. “Take just one piece here and another there” – this makes not the whole. This could be mexican or indian or danish pavilion, who cares.

  • inmate

    clearly, this is a park full of foster’s repsol pavilions. hasn’t everyone tried to rip that project off once or twice on charette? hope SLOT can execute as cleanly as foster!

  • AE

    Lejos el proyecto que ocupo el tercer lugar era mucho mejor. Este proyecto, como dijeron anteriormente, no tiene nada salvo la pura apariencia y el intento mal logrado de “apantallar”.


    2 cosas:
    1.- Si, es lo principal. ¿Cual sería el punto sino?
    2.- ¿Integral? ¿Por qué? ¿Por que repite el mismo elemento hasta gastarlo? Usas conceptos que no entiendes.

  • Xavier

    Opino lo mismo que tu, es una verguenza que proyectos asi ganen los concursos de Mexico.

    Proyecto pobre en muchos aspectos.

    Aquitectos ricos despues de cobrar 18millones de pesos por el proyecto.

    • Chaman

      Como todos los proyectos de gobierno, seguramente reportaron costos de $100 cuando en realidad costaron $10… y a ver quién es el valiente (y millonario) que viajará a Shanghai a aduitarlo.

      Lamentablemente esta es la explicación a muchas decisiones dentro del gobierno.

  • alejandro

    A.L. – I do happen to choose my words, I said nice and not extraordinary or adequate because I agree with you that it has something childish to it. However, that is precisely what I like about it. Furthermore, I like a lot the three types of spaces it creates, spaces that result from the relationship between the angled surface, the kites and the ground floor. The underneath/above angled surfaced works well and above all distinguishes it from others in the exhibition. I find amusing how literal and childish its relationship to pyramids is and how it’s colored and over relaxed attitude conveys a general sensation of happiness. Thus, in my humble opinion makes for a well thought project.
    It seems you´ve got personal issues in this subject man; take it easy, anger management.

  • Wargo

    Look as giants lollipops, look better in an amusement park (nacionalismo aparte).

  • alejandro

    don´t hoarse

  • alejandro


  • Carlos

    …alguien tiene el link para ver los proyectos de los demas participantes???

  • alejandro

    Arguments please… es retrogado, son los jueces, es arquitectura infantil, come on people!!
    It seems you all have personal issues in this matter, you’re all angry, Why?

  • sharwe

    欢迎中国建筑行业的朋友加入ASKETCH 讨论QQ群 92452790

  • Adrian

    mmmmmmmm… las sombrillas no se veian tan mal en los renders, pero viendolo bien ya no!

  • horse

    también molesta la falta de traducción, si la idea inicial es que fueran unos palotes, lo cual ya en si es dudable, pues uno esperaría que estos se transformaran en arquitectura a través de algún mecanismo intelectual, pero no, esto se mantienen figurativamente, sueltos sin inmiscuirse en la construcción de la limitante espacial

    • horse


  • cs3

    Participé en el concurso y debo reconocer que es un buen proyecto, es una extensión de la plaza lineal que hay en el frente, responde bien a la condición periférica del lote mexicano, el talud es una gran alternativa para dar cabida a mucha gente descansando a la sombra, los papalotes, plástica aparte, son un punto de contacto entre chinos y mexicanos, los espacios interiores son funcionales y el proyecto se cotizo por debajo del presupuesto. Es una propuesta sencilla, que no se cierra como muchos otros, y es muy fácil de recordar.

    • horse

      participaste en este concurso?, con el equipo ganador?

      • cs3

        no, con otro proyecto.

  • Juni

    Shanghai = Coney Island

  • Carlos

    Anda, borraron mi primer comentario. Pues que habre dicho???


    ¿another otra expression expresión of de “architecture arquitectura chill-out chil-aut”?

  • David Basulto

    Dear mexican readers,

    I would really like you to express your opinions in english in order to let other readers enter this discussion. Being a pavilion for a world expo, a discussion including people from around the world would be much more interesting, don´t you think?

    • Dustin

      Actually the discussion is quite interesting in spanish. Yes, it would be ideal that the language used would be english since this is an english website, but on the other hand, I am guessing a great number of the posts are done by people who don’t speak english, and it would’nt be fare for them not to join a a discussion on a project that represents their country.

  • theChavacano

    Otro modulo de la secretaria de turismo en el exterior(uno muy caro, pero donde esta el papel picado y el mariachi? Combinarian perfectamente.

    Just another office from the mexican minister of tourism abroad (an expensive one), but where are the “papel picado” and the mariachis? It will fit flawlesly.

  • http://NA prkno

    this is very close to Fosters vision of Zagreb Airport

    if i can so freely conclude, but nice project otherwise

  • johnson wax

    Strange, that they couldn’t come up with a better solution for the ‘kites’… I thought the whole idea would be to have a light and easy to build superstructure that would provide shading. When I see the umbrellas now they seem so heavy and soulless; noth at all something refering to the lightness of kites in the sky. A real pity because I think the initial concept in not bad at all.

  • Arq. Mariana Tello Rodríguez

    Los invito a realizar sus respectivas criticas fuera del anonimato, por que a todos aquellos que se precian de ser arquitectos los veo como cobardes tras una computadora.

    • Dustin

      Si te fijas Arq. Mariana, ninguno de los comentarios se hace bajo un nombre anónimo, y simplemente pusieron su nombre porque name significa nombre. Yo creo que si les preguntas quienes son, talvez te podrian proporcionar su información de contacto. Pero al llamarlos cobardes por criticar un proyecto que la verdad merece crítica porque representa mas a la secretaría de turismo que a México entonces estas en un error y simplemente te vez mal. Y por cierto no necesitamos publicar nuestro nombre como Arq. tal y tal… o Ing. tal y tal.., a final de cuentas los que hacen eso tienen el ego sobreinflado y únicamente se pueden defender con un título que ya cualquier universidad de segunda te regala en 3 años de tiempo parcial.
      Si gustas mi información de contacto te lo puedo proporcionar con gusto.

    • theChavacano

      Arq. Alejandro Guzmán un placer, quieres mis datos tambien Mariana? con gusto estoy a disposición de cualquier discución sobre el tema.

    • Arq. Javier

      yo quiero felicitarla arquitecta Tello me parece un trabajo magnifico muy bien representado un pabellon para un expo ,esta muy bien conceptualisado ,y los que critican tal vez lo hacen por que son unos ardidos que nunca en su vida han ganado un concurso .
      Don Javi

  • Dustin

    De la misma manera que casi todo se mueve en México…. corrupción.

    The same way almost everything moves in Mexico… corruption.

  • Dustin

    As a final comment, is anyone considering (from the design team) that grass under shade and with people walking on it all day long.. does not actually grow? It will be interesting to see the final product with boxes filled with dirt or with artificial turf.

    Como comentario final, alguien del equipo de diseño consideró que el pasto, bajo la sombra y con gente caminando sobre ella todo el dia… no crece? será interesante ver el producto final, ya sea con cajas llenas de tierra o con pasto artificial.

  • naiMAD ARG

    So when i first saw the project i kind of laughed i was like wt* is that. I think that there could have been a lot more things that the architects could have done to make a better project. If Slot is designing such big structures for those kites and creating such a big space with them why not have people walk through them and then enter the bldg instead of having stairs stepped down into the exhibition space. It seems that the green space its just a BLAH space, therefore the kites are just a BLAH statement to the design. I think that’s just a bad representation of Mexico, this is a project that could have so many creative ideas to represent Mexico as a country. If this where Mexican architecture is going to be for the pavilions then the next pavilion will be in shape of a “balero”