A futuristic design of a pavilion enrobed in ten million porcelain tiles, this is what Austria has been presenting at Shanghai Expo 2010, started on May 1 and will be taking place to October. This sophisticated pavilion is a great work of the Vienna-based architect’s offices SPAN in collaboration with architect Arkan Zeytinoglu. According to the theme “Austria – Feel the Harmony” the pavilion addresses all senses through space, sound and visuals.
The Austrian pavilion by Vienna-based architects SPAN & Zeytinoglu is coated with more than ten million tiles covering the pavilion’s façade. The porcelain skin is able to gradually change from red to white. The cladding of the complex curved surface wrapping the entire building and the roof was made possible by the selection of very small hexagonal modules. The pavilion has been providing visitors with a manifold and complex spatial experience.
In addition to the exhibition space and the office area, the entire interior design with its essential parts of the interior fittings is comprised by the design methodology for the Pavillion. As part of the interior fittings, the team designed the restaurant and the VIP bar, the shop desk, the info desk, the modular sitting lounge in the VIP area and the reception desk in the VIP lobby.
In the designing and planning phases, SPAN & Zeytinoglu predominantly work with digital models, a method allowing them to integrate e.g. achievements of topology, the exploration of complex curved geometries. The design objects are made from CNC-milled polyurethane and coated with synthetic resin. CNC (Computer Numerical Control) is a technology originally developed for the aviation industry, enabling the precise construction of digitally generated, complexly curved objects.
The contract for the design was awarded within the framework of a selection procedure on EU level and by unanimous jury decision.
Architects and designer: SPAN & Zeytinoglu. Photos: © Maria Ziegelböck