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'Urbanian' Pavilion

One of China's theme pavilions for the World Expo which examines the themes behind urban living, has been designed by Kossmann.dejong.

By Editor Design.nl / 06-05-2010

For over two years Kossmann.dejong has been working on the exhibition design of the ‘Urbanian Pavilion’. This pavilion focuses on the theme ‘Urban Population’ and the quality of life in the city. Half of the world’s population currently lives in cities and by the year 2050 this percentage is expected to have increased up to 75%.

In the ‘Urbanian Pavilion’, six existing families from six different cities on the six continents are filmed and compared in their search for happiness. The pavilion illustrates the major themes that determine the quality of urban life: a safe and healthy living environment, sufficient and satisfying work, good educational opportunities, high-quality medical care and a rich social network.

The diversity of what the city has to offer and choices open for its inhabitants is what makes cities so attractive to most of us.

The total floor area of the pavilion is 15,000 m2 with a lofty ceiling height of 22 metres. The ‘Urbanian Pavilion’ is the second largest exhibition at the World Expo 2010, right after the Chinese National Pavilion. In this impressive space, the visitor takes a journey through a theatrically-designed, monumental city, made from ‘as found’ objects. Plastic crates are brought together to form a large ‘Residential Area’ with skyscrapers; empty paint tins have been used to build the impressive wall of a gas tank, and office furniture is clustered into an office colossus. Cardboard boxes suggest a ‘skyline’, along with many more exceptional interpretations of the use of everyday materials.

During the 45-minute stay at this exhibition the visitor will never see the ‘city‘ the same way. The interplay of light and sound leads to continuously new perspectives and insights.

Along this ‘urban walk’ visitors pass through five individually sub-pavilions, all with a specific multimedia design and each presenting an important aspect of life in a big city. The themes of these sub-pavilions are: HOME, WORK, CONNECTED, LEARN and HEALTH.

A special Chinese film crew followed the six families for a year and recorded their different daily activities related to the five mentioned themes. The ‘Urbanian Pavilion’ is brought alive by the spectacular lighting design by Reinier Tweebeeke, a renowned lighting designer from The Netherlands.

The ‘Urbanian Pavilion’ and the other four Chinese pavilions will remain open until February 1, 2011, three months longer than the official World Expo closing date of 1 November 2010.

New exhibition about Shanghai
Before the opening of the Urbanian Pavilion at the World Expo, the first Asian project by Kossmann.dejong, the design studio has already been asked to design a permanent exhibition for a new museum in Shanghai. In this exhibition, with a total surface of around 7.000 sqm, the history of the development of the city of Shanghai and its inhabitants will be presented by way of different themes.

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