polish pavilion for shanghai expo in 2010
polish pavilion for shanghai expo in 2010 polish pavilion for shanghai expo in 2010
jan 08, 2008

polish pavilion for shanghai expo in 2010

on december 11, 2007 the polish government chose a winner in the design competition for the polish pavilion at the 2010 world expo in shanghai. the winning entry was design by architects wojciech kakowski, marcin mostafa and natalia paszkowska. their building is inspired by traditional polish folk art paper cut-outs reinterpreted in a contemporary fashion. the idea was generated when the team sought to create a ‘cultural ideogram’ that would signify the country of origin in an iconic way. the project focuses on exploring the importance of the personal experience between buildings and people. the ramp that is created by the folded exterior enables visitors to climb onto the roof of the building, making the entire building a function exhibition space.

  • This project is a total sell-out concept – nobody should be proud of such a tired idea. You find a local tapestry and make it a building skin? Like Arab World Institute by Jean Nouvel and several others…. – also the generic massing strategy looks like Bjarke Ingels Group work. Although I appreciated what B.I.G. offers to the discussion on shape vs. form (along with OMA) this a generic version of their work. The most glaring weakness is where the pattern is the same on the roof (which is occupiable). Its a one-liner with no subtle design moves besides the cliche entry way strategy.

    Lets look back to the Centre Culturel Tjibaou that Renzo Piano did for New Caledonia 10 years ago. Yes, they found some cultural artifact and made it into a building -BUT- they did so much more with the form. It becomes a passive air flow system, it makes a humming sound, it emerges from the tree tops in a beatiful way – as if it was always there.

    Software is making it too easy for amatuers to make sexy images.

    I saw one of the best architecture lectures by a group of Polish Architects who came to visit Columbia University NYC in 2006-7. The 5 architects who presented their work were clearly more talented and thoughtful than the ones who won this Polish Pavilion Competition. I hope to see more work from those teams.

    Nicholas Kothari - Columbia '07 says:
  • nicholas, could you be any more of an elitest prick? way to include your school at the end of your ranting flame!

    jim bob - devry architectural college says:
  • I am not crazy about the design

    T. says:
  • I don’t quit understand why this project become the winner. The pattern has no meaning, not only the graphic itself, it has not actually relationship to the interior space. This is the project that will be built a decade later, I don’t see it will be a significant piece for the post-modern architect.

    Leung says:
  • I agree with Nicholas, T, and Leung.

    This design somehow looks more like some design a geek sitting behind a computer screen can come up with on Adobe Photoshop using patterned brushes than the work of a truly brilliant architect.

    Tony. says:
  • Thanks for your comments, Jim Bob. I’m not an elitest prick. I said something positive about 8 architects that i refered to and said something negative about 1 architecture team… that means I am more “for” than “against” ideas.

    Meanwhile, your comments is “against” everything i said without having any explaination.

    And why can’t i put my school name with my comment? Can you give me a good reason?

    Nicholas Kothari says:
  • “The pattern has no meaning, not only the graphic itself” well I can`t agree with that . The pattern has a meaning – it`s polish traditional paper cut -out – when you fold a piece of paper for example 4 times, and then cut in it some shape and then spread it – you will get this pattern. see it on [url=http://www.polishamericancenter.org/Wycinanki.htm]polishamericancenter[/url]

    dot says:
  • A hybrid of a Christmas present wrap (the pattern of the paper rarely stays in a relation with the form of the gift) and a traditional paper-cut. Could have been better, so much better!

    readymade says:
  • Nicholas, elitism doesn’t have to do with your for-to-against ratio; it has to do with giving more weight and respect to a certain group of people than another. In your case you do seem to have a preference towards starchitects as witnessed by mentioning Renzo Piano, OMA, and Jean Nouvel as if they are the final word on architecture.

    As for the tapestry-as-building idea already being done in the Arab World Institute… well, I could be wrong but I don’t believe the Arab World Institute was based on tapestry at all but rather a reference to Islamic architecture, and then not a reference to any specific strain.

    If this building does repeat the ideas of the buildings you referenced, I’m always curious to ask: does it matter? It’s really, truly, absolutely ALL been done before, no matter how un-cliche or fresh something may seem.

    I’m about a month behind on finding this post so I doubt anyone will read this, but you know… just in case blogs actually turn into something for for historical reference, which I have to doubt sometimes.

    okijason.blogspot.com says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
486,347 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample
privacy policy