Polish Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo 2010

Shanghai, China

This 2,400m² building is devoid of perpendicular walls, making it a highly unusual yet stunning example of architectural origami.

Adding to the ornate beauty of the design, the entire facade is laser-cut in a series of intricate patterns, inspired by Polish folk paper cut-outs and highlighted to delightful effect with backlighting. And all this was created using designs and materials that took into account plans to reuse the pavilion, allowing for it be reconstructed, in its entirety or in parts, after the Expo had finished.

Challenge

This ambitious architectural vision, combined with climate considerations and the building’s location in a seismically active area, posed a great challenge in terms of the structural, mechanical and facade engineering. An issue of particular concern was the need to rescale the design in keeping with the surroundings. Our team had the idea to shorten the front wall by 30 metres, and one entrance corner by five metres, giving the effect of a lighter form without compromising the dynamism of the building’s unique shape.

We drew on years of experience to develop an innovative structure that realises the architect’s vision of a building devoid of perpendicular walls. Image: WWAA

Solution

Our team was able to provide such solutions by drawing on years of experience in devising innovative, individual ways in which to realise the architectural vision.

The entire facade is laser-cut with intricate paterns inspired by Polish folk paper-cuts, and highlighted to dramatic effect with backlighting. Image: WWAA

Value

This combination of exquisite design and intelligent engineering ensured the Polish Pavilion’s success at Expo 2010, with over eight million people visiting it over the course of six months, as well as seeing it elected Shape of the Year 2010 in a poll organised by the bryla.pl portal.

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