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How I Built A New China: A talk with Expo 2010 Planner Siegfried Zhiqiang Wu

"We need a new generation of cities in China" - Siegfried Zhiqiang Wu

As the tide of urbanization sweeps across most of the developing areas in China, the building frenzy has become a Chinese phenomenon. Some people are making money from it, some people are getting power from it, and some people are worrying about it. Recently, a new set of policies and reports have been published by the Chinese central government, and the whole society seems to be boosted by the new talk of a Chinese Dream. But, what is really happening inside China? Can it absorb this enormous growth? And, will urbanization continue in a proper way?

As the chief planner of the 2010 Shanghai Expo, Siegfried Zhiqiang Wu has been deeply involved for years in many of China’s main urbanization projects. It was almost midnight when we met Professor Wu in Shanghai, and although Wu had just gotten off a night flight from Beijing, his passion, frankness and intelligence remained undoubtedly impressive. In the following edited talk with interviewer Juan Yan, Professor Wu discusses China's dramatic urbanization, its architectural culture and the future of smart cities.

Shanghai’s Pudong District on the Rise

Photo by Shreyans Bhansali - http://www.flickr.com/photos/thebigdurian/
Photo by Shreyans Bhansali - http://www.flickr.com/photos/thebigdurian/

With nearly 23 million people, Shanghai is China’s biggest and most populous city. It is the financial and commercial capital of the country and a leading cultural center in Asia. Throughout the 1990′s and 2000′s the city underwent immense growth and redevelopment, thriving on international business. The futuristic and ambitious skyline of Pudong is the heart of Shanghai’s business district, and is growing swiftly with towering skyscrapers and an advanced urban environment. More pictures and information after the break.

Shanghai Expo 2010 Draws to a Close

Sadly,  Shanghai’s Expo 2010 ended yesterday after 184 exciting days.  Throughout the course of the exhibition, over 73 million people experienced great pavilions from countries across the world and we’ve brought you coverage of projects ranging from videos to project descriptions to photographs.  In these past months, we’ve shared a few of our reader Seppe’s videos with you (check out his German Pavilion, UK Pavilion, and Denmark Pavilion clips, previously featured on AD) and today we’re sharing his latest bit on the Swiss Pavilion.

German Pavilion / Shanghai 2010 Expo

Here’s another great time lapse video from Seppe, this time walking us through the German Pavilion in Shanghai designed by Schmidhuber + Kaindl GmbH (more Shanghai coverage here).  Entitled Balancity, the pavilion is designed by Lennart Wiechell and at 6,000 m2, it is the country’s largest structure at any exposition.  The building’s geometric mass was conceived as a three dimensional sculpture and the form wraps certain spaces which showcase different aspects of Germany.  As you can see in the video, the pavilion includes a  central energy source, a  factory-like section, an opera and cultural section, and even a park.   The areas show Germany’s technological progressions and products meant to help solve urbanization problems, and visitors slowly glide past certain installations on moving walkways.    Unlike other countries’ pavilions that seem to work off of one cohesive theme, the German pavilion seems much more “busy” – it is a conglomeration of many different ideas and products with lots to see at each turning corner.   What do you think of Balancity?

Check out other videos Seppe has shared with us like his British Pavilion time lapse or his Denmark Pavilion video.  Full list of credits after the break.

"Felicity: Change your city, change your life" International Competition

The aim of the project is to encourage reflections about the life in a community, an occasion for graphic designers and architects from all over the world to express, demonstrate and imagine possible solutions for a city, capable to improve the life of its inhabitants.

Ride the Danish pavilion in Shanghai


We have seen the Danish pavilion on its conceptual stage, during construction, completed and finally opened to the public.

Denmark Pavilion / Shanghai 2010

Take a look at this video on the Danish Pavilion (thanks again, Seppe!) and be sure to view yesterday’s on the UK Pavilion.  The Shanghai 2010 Expo is in full swing and several of the pavilions are living up to their expectations.  Which pavilion is your favorite?

British Pavilion / Shanghai 2010 Expo

We’ve been covering the Shanghai 2010 Expo a lot on ArchDaily, and our reader Seppe shared some videos of the pavilions with us.  Today, we’re featuring a cool video on one of our favorites, the UK Pavilion (be sure to read about the project featured previously on AD) and be on the look out for more videos contributed by Seppe this week.

Italian Pavilion / Shanghai 2010

For those of us not able to experience the Shanghai 2010 Expo in person, we hope these great photos by IODICEARCHITETTI of the Italian Pavilion will help convey the spirit of the project. Check out more photographs after the break.

Monaco Pavilion / NAÇO Architecture

Copyright Hu Wenkit
Copyright Hu Wenkit

As the previous pavilions we have featured on AD for the World Expo 2010 illustrate, the exhibition is, undoubtedly, a giant testing ground to experiment with the latest avant-garde design concepts. In late March, we featured Naço Architectures pavilion and we have just be informed of some details of the facade treatment.  The facade’s main focus was to capitalize on Monaco’s seemingly eternal presence of sun and sea. Designed so visitors will experience different lighting effects, the pavilion’s prominent water screen casts its reflections on and around the pavilion’s façade, “to symbolize a country surrounded by sea and sunshine and attached to respect its environment.”

More images and more about the facade after the break.

Shenzhen case pavilion at UBPA, Expo Shanghai 2010 / Urbanus

© Courtesy of URBANUS Architecture & Design Inc
© Courtesy of URBANUS Architecture & Design Inc

Chinese practice Urbanus (previously featured at ArchDaily with their Jade Bamboo Culture Plaza, the Integrated Teaching Building in the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Tulou Housing Guangzhou) shared with us the exhibition design for the city Shenzhen at the UBPA (Urban Best Practice Area), an exhibit aligned with the Expo 2010′s main theme “Better City, Better Life”, which tracks how major cities around the world are coping with the new problems arising from their urbanization processes,  as well as their effective and creative solutions, making it as highly specialized exhibition space. The city of Shenzhen evolved from a small fishing village to an international center in only 30 years, a complex process presented at this pavilion:

© Courtesy of URBANUS Architecture & Design Inc © Courtesy of URBANUS Architecture & Design Inc © Courtesy of URBANUS Architecture & Design Inc © Courtesy of URBANUS Architecture & Design Inc

The “German-Chinese House” at the Shanghai World Expo 2010

The event series “Germany and China – Moving Ahead Together” presents itself in spectacular fashion during its sixth and last station: the Expo 2010 in Shanghai. Designed by Markus Heinsdorff, the “German-Chinese House” is not only the architectural highlight of its Expo presence; it is also a forward-looking example for the use of natural construction material. It is the only two-storey building at the Expo whose load-bearing structures are made of bamboo. The building is an artistic encounter with the theme of sustainable urbanisation, which was the focus of the three-year event series from 2007 to 2010.

More images and architect’s description after the break.

UK Pavilion for Shanghai World Expo 2010 Video

The UK Pavilion for Shanghai World Expo 2010 is one of the people’s favorite (if not the most). We featured yesterday the pavilion’s details with some amazing photos and plans. Now, we could not pass the opportunity to show you this amazing video of the pavilion made by Channelbeta. The video was published by a reader in our Facebook group!

Saudi Arabia Pavilion for Shanghai World Expo 2010

The Saudi Arabia Pavilion for Shanghai World Expo 2010, which starts in two days, is a combine effort of Chinese and Saudi designers. The pavilion has a “moon boat” shape and is surrounded by deserts and seas, just like Saudi Arabia. Along with the 150 date palms that are now planted in the pavilion, it’s main attraction is a huge IMAX screen. The 1,600-square-meter screen is larger than any other cinema screen on earth. Short films will be presented on the screen.

You can see more images and a video after the break.

Shanghai 2010: The Pavilions Part II


It seems that this week everything is about Shanghai. The World Expo 2010 starts in three days and the pavilions are ready. Yesterday, we featured some amazing photos that Chaz Hutton took at the Expo. Today, David Goss shared with us many more, and even a video inside the UK’s Pavilion. Check them out after the break! Flickr Video

Shanghai 2010: The Pavilions


Back on March we featured a fantastic set of photos of the pavilions for Shanghai World Expo 2010 almost finished. Now, with only three days left for the grand opening to the public, the pavilions seem to be ready for the more than 70 million people expected to visit the Expo between April 30 and October 31. Chaz Hutton shared with us through Flickr his amazing photos of the pavilions. You can check them all after the break. And remember you can see every pavilion we’ve featured right here. ¿Which one’s your favorite?

AD Round Up: Shanghai Pavilions Part V

Only four days left to the grand opening and the pavilions of the Shanghai World Expo 2010 should be ready to receive thousands of visitors each day. We’ve been featuring a lot of pavilions but there is still a lot to cover, so we hope to bring you more on the Expo in the next few days (like a good preview of many pavilions ready later today). Meanwhile, check some of our latest ones, after the break. Dutch Pavilion for Shanghai World Expo 2010 The Dutch submission to the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai is an exceptional one. This time around, it will not be the classic pavilion with long lines of visitors waiting outside and a presentation inside. The Netherlands is making its appearance at China’s world exposition along an entire street. The submission, entitled “Happy Street”, is the response by designer John Kormeling to the Chinese Expo theme “Better City, Better Life” and the sub-themes (read more…)