Monday, September 6, 2010

Shanghai Expo: UK Pavilion

While working on my 2010 Asian trip summary I'm taking a break to share images from one of my favorite Shanghai World's Fair exhibits: The United Kingdom's pavilion and its marvelously etherial Seed Cathedral.

The Seed Cathedral stands about 60 feet high and is composed of 60,000 acrylic rods, each containing seeds. The idea is to convey the UK's efforts to preserve our planet's fragile biodiversity.

Entering the Cathedral is like standing inside a chandelier. The structure is made of wood and steel, with thin aluminum tubes serving as sheaths for delicate tendrils that wave in the wind. Reverence is, perhaps, the best word to convey the feeling this place seeks to elicit.

After Expo 2010 closes its doors in October, the seeds will be distributed to schools in the UK and China, "just as dandelion seeds are blown away and disperse on the breeze" [Having seen this quote many places online, I think ArchDaily is the original source.]

The best way to see the Seed Cathedral, of course, is personally. However, there's a virtual version that does a decent job of conveying the experience. Check it out!

Photo from Centre Pompidou
(I never noticed the face until I saw this photo in Paris)
Learn more:

• Interview with designer Thomas Heatherwick

• YouTube video of UK Pavilion

(Photographs by Andrew and Jenny Wood)

1 comment:

Jenny Wood said...

Beautiful pictures! I loved that pavilion.