UK pavilion at shanghai world expo 2010
UK pavilion at shanghai world expo 2010 UK pavilion at shanghai world expo 2010
may 06, 2010

UK pavilion at shanghai world expo 2010

the concept behind thomas heatherwick‘s UK pavilion at shanghai expo 2010 is an enclosure that throws outwards from all sides, a mass of long radiating cilia. the centerpiece of the pavilion is the seed cathedral, a six storey high cube-like structure, pierced by approximately 60 000 x 7.5m long slim transparent acrylic rods which sway gently in response to any wind movement. during the day each of these rods act like fiber optic filaments, drawing on daylight in order to illuminate the interior. at night, light sources at the interior end of each rod allow the whole structure to glow from the outside. the pavilion is situated on a landscape which resembles paper which once wrapped the building, but now lies unfolded on the site. the surrounding space provides an open venue for public events and along with shelter for visitors.

the union jack is visible on the exterior
image © designboom (also main image)

image © designboom

side view
image © designboom

detail of rods from the exterior
image © designboom

visitors walking through the seed pavilion
image © designboom

image © designboom

image © designboom

detail of seeds imprinted on the ends of rods
image © designboom

the curvature of the rods
image © designboom

the seed cathedral at night
image © designboom

image © designboom

the rods connected to electrical circuits
image © designboom

the rods glowing at night
image © designboom

the exterior at night
image © designboom

image © designboom

the view of shanghai city behind the pavilion
image © designboom

  • awesome..

    cigdem says:
  • one of the best pavilions without a doubt.
    totally awesome.

    CharlieGm says:
  • wow thats a nice pavillion!!! omg !! totally awesome

    Alex Dandan says:
  • awesome [2]

    Kael says:
  • The best one without doubt!
    What a brilliant mind…

    nakar says:
  • As a spanish architect I like the spanish pavillion, but I must say this is by far the best one.

    ignacio says:
  • what a cool design. Brillant.

    Onur says:
  • gives me a headache to look at 🙁 seriously, very weird.

    Clarkson says:
  • amazing idea, even more amazing engineering achievement?

    F says:
  • My great grandmother used to have these kind of glowing fibreoptic dealies on her coffee table back in the 80’s…

    Tomsright says:
  • I hate it when people have great ideas. Well done Heatherwick for creating something truly spectacular.

    Best pavilion by a long distance

    paul. says:
  • hmm…designboom posted an article on this before. I think it looks good close up when you can see the seeds, but tacky when shown REALLY close up. And from a distance… I’m just not sure it works. It just looks unattractive and odd. Like a weird artificial shrub.

    No doubt spectacular if you actually see it though…

    Pedro says:
  • pedro – what’s your point?

    eh?! says:
  • £25 million to build… Looks great but how many starving people in the world could be fed with that amount of money?
    Hmmm… A little ‘show-offy’ if you ask me.

    Bob says:
  • I like the concept, but I really dislike the design and execution.

    hachee says:
  • what an awesome concept with great thought of the lightings too, keep it up 🙂

    RRR says:
  • esse edificil é lindo sem falar no interior abordando varias sementos dentro daqueles bastãos

    acacio emerson says:
  • It looks amazing from the outside but the inside seems empty and drab, a few seeds stuck to each rod in an empty room.

    style over content says:
  • This design of UK pavillion and the previous one of this Heatherwick Studio is coming first from the french R&Sie(n) group in 2001
    [url=] designboom [/url]
    But in this case it was not a pilosity to produce a decor for Chinese word fair but as a powerstation…for transferring sun energy in the Unplug sustainability…
    Why architects are always reducing ideas to aesthetic scleroses ?

    noname says:
  • amazing!

    ana chelfan says:
  • Spectacular! It looks so ethereal

    Pauline says:
  • wow, i don’t want to be the guy who has to clean this thing from birdshit… xD
    still- awesome!

    dM says:
  • Rule Britania! Rule Mr Heatherwick! I bet it was quite a walk form Knightsbridge…RESPECT!

    Flip says:
  • Great fun.

    David Lily says:

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