The Architectural Lab: A History Of World Expos

10:30 - 30 April, 2015
The Universal Exposition of 1889. Image © Wikimedia Commons
The Universal Exposition of 1889. Image © Wikimedia Commons

World Expos have long been important in advancing architectural innovation and discourse. Many of our most beloved monuments were designed and constructed specifically for world’s fairs, only to remain as iconic fixtures in the cities that host them. But what is it about Expos that seem to create such lasting architectural landmarks, and is this still the case today? Throughout history, each new Expo offered architects an opportunity to present radical ideas and use these events as a creative laboratory for testing bold innovations in design and building technology. World’s fairs inevitably encourage competition, with every country striving to put their best foot forward at almost any cost. This carte blanche of sorts allows architects to eschew many of the programmatic constraints of everyday commissions and concentrate on expressing ideas in their purest form. Many masterworks such as Mies van der Rohe’s German Pavilion (better known as the Barcelona Pavilion) for the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition are so wholeheartedly devoted to their conceptual approach that they could only be possible in the context of an Exposition pavilion.

To celebrate the opening of Expo Milano 2015 tomorrow, we’ve rounded up a few of history’s most noteworthy World Expositions to take a closer look at their impact on architectural development.

1964 New York World’s Fair . Image via People for the Pavillion website Buckminster Fuller's Dome. Image © Flickr user abdallahh Barcelona Pavilion. Image © Gili Merin Kiyonari Kikutake's Landmark Tower +19

Shanghai Natural History Museum / Perkins+Will

23:00 - 23 April, 2015
Shanghai Natural History Museum / Perkins+Will, © James and Connor Steinkamp
© James and Connor Steinkamp

© James and Connor Steinkamp © James and Connor Steinkamp © James and Connor Steinkamp © James and Connor Steinkamp +22

Poggenpohl Shanghai Studio / OFA

20:00 - 22 April, 2015
Poggenpohl Shanghai Studio / OFA, © Nacasa & Partners
© Nacasa & Partners
  • Architects

  • Location

    NGS (Wanrong Road), Zhabei, Shanghai, China, 200072
  • Cost

    CNY15,000,000
  • Area

    2200.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

© Nacasa & Partners © Nacasa & Partners © Nacasa & Partners © Nacasa & Partners +28

Student Accommodation / Wuyang Architecture

21:00 - 2 April, 2015
Student Accommodation / Wuyang Architecture, © SU Shengliang
© SU Shengliang
  • Architects

  • Location

    Jian Chuan Lu, Minhang Qu, Shanghai Shi, China
  • Project Architect

    FENG Lu
  • Engineering

    SRIBS
  • Area

    975.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

© SU Shengliang © SU Shengliang © SU Shengliang © SU Shengliang +12

Video: Rob Whitworth, Stunning Cities in Hyperlapse

14:00 - 29 March, 2015

Witness the urban life of five stunning metropolises through the lens of Rob Whitworth with these "Vimeo Staff Pick" hyperlapse videos. From the unexplored urban life of the North Korean capital Pyongyang to the towering skyline of Dubai, each video explores an incredible sequence of daily living in cities across the planet. See more, including video from Kuala Lumpur and Shanghai, after the break.

Ennead Tapped to Design Shanghai Planetarium

15:37 - 9 March, 2015
Ennead Tapped to Design Shanghai Planetarium, © Thomas Wong / Ennead Architects
© Thomas Wong / Ennead Architects

Ennead Architects has won an international competition to design the Shanghai Planetarium. The “celestial” design hopes to elevate the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum’s (SSTM) “scientific and technological capacity” while redefine the district Lingang upon its completion in 2018. 

“Drawing inspiration form astronomical principles, our design strategy provides a platform for the experience of orbital motion, and utilizes that as a metaphorical reference and generator of form,” says Ennead Architects.

© Thomas Wong / Ennead Architects © Thomas Wong / Ennead Architects © Thomas Wong / Ennead Architects © Thomas Wong / Ennead Architects +15

Flask - The Press / Alberto Caiola

20:00 - 7 March, 2015
© Shen Zhonghai
© Shen Zhonghai

© Shen Zhonghai © Shen Zhonghai © Shen Zhonghai © Shen Zhonghai +15

Songjiang Art Campus / Archi-Union Architects

21:00 - 4 March, 2015
Songjiang Art Campus  / Archi-Union Architects, Courtesy of Archi-Union Architects
Courtesy of Archi-Union Architects

Courtesy of Archi-Union Architects Courtesy of Archi-Union Architects Courtesy of Archi-Union Architects Courtesy of Archi-Union Architects +43

Lone Ranger Hot Dog Shop / Linehouse

01:00 - 17 February, 2015
Lone Ranger Hot Dog Shop / Linehouse, © Benoit Florencon
© Benoit Florencon
  • Architects

  • Location

    Wai Ma Lu, Huangpu Qu, Shanghai Shi, China
  • Area

    19.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

© Benoit Florencon © Benoit Florencon © Benoit Florencon © Benoit Florencon +16

Kids Museum Of Glass / Coordination Asia

01:00 - 12 February, 2015
Kids Museum Of Glass  / Coordination Asia , Courtesy of Coordination Asia
Courtesy of Coordination Asia
  • Architects

  • Location

    G+ Park, 685 Changjiang West Road, Baoshan, Shanghai, China
  • Architect in Charge

    Tilman Thürmer
  • Area

    2000.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2015
  • Photographs

    Courtesy of Coordination Asia

Courtesy of Coordination Asia Courtesy of Coordination Asia Courtesy of Coordination Asia Courtesy of Coordination Asia +29

Office Around a Tree / Lukstudio

01:00 - 26 December, 2014
Office Around a Tree / Lukstudio, © Peter Dixie
© Peter Dixie
  • Architects

  • Location

    Shanghai, Shanghai, China
  • Design Team

    Christina Luk, Wesley Shu, Scott Baker, Mavis Li
  • Area

    133.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

© Peter Dixie © Peter Dixie © Peter Dixie © Peter Dixie +18

The Platform / Lukstudio

01:00 - 25 December, 2014
The Platform / Lukstudio, © Peter Dixie
© Peter Dixie
  • Architects

  • Location

    Nan Jing Dong Lu, Huangpu Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200085
  • Design Team

    Christina Luk, Scott Baker, Wesley Shu
  • Area

    50.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

© Peter Dixie © Peter Dixie © Peter Dixie © Peter Dixie +10

Waterfront Restaurant / Pro-Form Architects

01:00 - 18 December, 2014
Waterfront Restaurant / Pro-Form Architects, © LV Hengzhong
© LV Hengzhong
  • Architects

  • Location

    2801 Hu Yi Gong Lu, Jiading Qu, Shanghai Shi, China
  • Architect in Charge

    WU Jing, LI Peng, HE Ru of Pro-Form Architects Limited
  • Area

    1500.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2012
  • Photographs

© LV Hengzhong © LV Hengzhong © LV Hengzhong © LV Hengzhong +25

Huishan North Bund / EE&K a Perkins Eastman Company

01:00 - 16 December, 2014
Huishan North Bund  / EE&K a Perkins Eastman Company, © Tim Griffith
© Tim Griffith
  • Architects

  • Location

    Hongkou, Shanghai, China
  • Area

    255000.0 sqm
  • Photographs

    Tim Griffith, Courtesy of Perkins Eastman, Gary Wei

© Tim Griffith © Tim Griffith © Tim Griffith © Tim Griffith +27

Student Bathrooms / Wuyang Architecture

01:00 - 5 December, 2014
Student Bathrooms / Wuyang Architecture, © SU Shengliang
© SU Shengliang
  • Architects

  • Location

    Jian Chuan Lu, Minhang Qu, Shanghai Shi, China
  • Architect

    FENG Lu
  • Engineering

    SRIBS
  • Area

    503.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

    SU Shengliang, Courtesy of Wuyang Architecture

© SU Shengliang © SU Shengliang © SU Shengliang © SU Shengliang +12

Container Sale Office / Atelier XÜK

01:00 - 24 November, 2014
Container Sale Office / Atelier XÜK, © Su shengliang
© Su shengliang
  • Architects

  • Location

    Qingpu, Shanghai, China
  • Design Team

    Liukenan Zhangxu Lujun Sunwenliang Chenxiao Lizheyuan Liang Wangqian
  • Area

    260.0 sqm
  • Photographs

© Su shengliang © Su shengliang © Su shengliang © Su shengliang +26

Aedas' Leaf-Shaped Sales Gallery Nears Completion in Shanghai

01:00 - 16 November, 2014
Aedas' Leaf-Shaped Sales Gallery Nears Completion in Shanghai, Sales Gallery. Image Courtesy of Aedas
Sales Gallery. Image Courtesy of Aedas

Aedas is nearing completion on the sales gallery for the mixed-use Shanghai Greenland Qingpu Xujing District complex. The gallery, shaped as a leaf, is designed to fit with the "clover leaf" concept of the nearby Qingpu Xujing Conference and Exhibition Centre, in which it will be connected with by a pedestrian bridge. 

Overview. Image Courtesy of Aedas Shopping Mall. Image Courtesy of Aedas Shopping Mall. Image Courtesy of Aedas Hotel. Image Courtesy of Aedas +24

Jean Prouvé’s Demountable House to be Exhibited at Design Shanghai 2015

00:00 - 9 November, 2014
Jean Prouvé’s Demountable House to be Exhibited at Design Shanghai 2015, Prouve House with Easy Armchair Chair and Committee Chair by Jeanneret. Image Courtesy of Forward
Prouve House with Easy Armchair Chair and Committee Chair by Jeanneret. Image Courtesy of Forward

Marking the second edition of Design Shanghai, this year’s exhibition will take place March 2015 and will include over 300 exhibitors across three halls; Contemporary Design, Classic Design, and Collectible Design. Featured among the confirmed installations is Jean Prouvé’s Demountable House, a rare early example of prefabricated housing.

French architect Jean Prouvé is regarded as one of the twentieth century’s most influential designers, and is known for combining bold elegance with economy of means in a socially conscious manner. He is also recognized for his manufacturing firm, Les Ateliers Jean Prouvé, where he designed and produced lightweight metal furniture in collaboration with some of the most well known designers of the time. One such designer was Pierre Jeanneret, a Swiss architect and furniture designer who often worked with his more famous cousin, Le Corbusier.

Read on after the break to learn more about this year’s featured exhibition.