Expo architecture: a rendezvous of cultures (3)

14:59, April 29, 2010      

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National flags of China and Britain are seen in front of the UK pavilion in the World Expo Park in Shanghai, east China, April 23, 2010. Britain has set up in the Shanghai Expo a "Crystal Palace" -- a dazzling cube formed by more than 60,000 slim and transparent acrylic rods containing seeds of different plants that were collected in a bio-diversity project.The pavilion, nicknamed "dandelion" by the Chinese public, intends to convey the idea of "Building on the past, Shaping our future." (Xinhua/Wang Song)


It's easy to spot China's cultural imprint in other nations' pavilions.

Based on the idea of creating a green space within the Expo, the Mexico pavilion features a sea of more than 130 kites, or papalotes, a Nahuatl word which means "kite" and also "butterfly," on a vast green slope.

"The kite originated in China and it's a traditional toy in Mexico. The design was used as a cultural meeting point between Mexican and Chinese cultures," said Edgar Ramirez, designer of the Mexico Pavilion.

North of the China Pavilion lies the seashell-shaped Israel Pavilion, composed of two streamlined buildings "hugging" each other. One building is made of real stone while the other is made of transparent glass.

"The design reflects the ancient oriental wisdom of dialogue and fusion between opposite elements," said Wu Zhiqiang, chief designer of the Shanghai World Expo park.

The grandfather of chief Israel pavilion designer Haim Z. Dotan once lived in China and his mother was born in Shanghai in 1910.

"Perhaps Dotan's family connection with China helped him to incorporate the philosophy into his works," said Wu, also head of the Shanghai-based Tongji University's architecture and urban planning school.

"When you know the story behind the buildings, you no longer fix your eyes only on the halls, but the designers' understanding of world and Chinese culture," he said. Enditem

(Xinhua correspondents Wang Aihua and Yu Jingjing contributed to this story)

Source: Xinhua
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