The building of the Swiss Pavilion at Expo 2010 in Shanghai consisted of a flat green roof above two cylinders, in front of which a transparent façade that responded to ambient light was hanging. Directed along a curved ramp, the visitors first went up to the top of the main cylinder, where the exhibition was situated. Inside the exhibition they were welcomed by a number of virtual full length Swiss personalities, who gave them their views on Switzerland. At the curved rear front wall a mountain panorama extended. For this purpose, nine projectors were installed to cover an area of 17 x 10 meters. Inside a second cylinder the visitors were transported up to the pavilion’s green roof by a chair lift, accompanied by various sounds. iart interactive was responsible for the conceiving and planning of the media for the exhibition and for the open sound installation on the roof.
Mountain Meadow on Urban Cylinders
The Swiss pavilion at Expo 2010 in Shanghai was devoted to the theme of ‘Rural and Urban Interaction’. Its architecture and content therefore reflected the symbiotic relationship between town and country in Switzerland.
The building consisted of a flat green roof above two cylinders, in front of which a transparent façade that responded to ambient light was hanging. The urban part of the pavilion with a restaurant, outdoor seating and a shop was situated at ground level behind the façade.
Visitors were first directed along a three meter-wide curved ramp that took them up to the top of the main cylinder. From there they could gain a general impression of the pavilion and its surroundings. By looking through binoculars, they also obtained virtual insights into Switzerland.
The ramp ended at the exhibition on the third floor of the pavilion. Inside the exhibition, a slightly downward sloping floor lead past a number of Swiss personalities, who told stories about Switzerland on demand. This part of the exhibition space was situated near the entrance. Further inside it opened up into an atrium where there was a film projection extending over three levels.
Another ramp led down from the exhibition towards the urban level and on towards the second cylinder. There visitors got into the chair lift in which, accompanied by various sounds, they were transported up to the pavilion’s green roof, where they hovered above open meadowland. After a trip lasting around eight minutes, visitors returned to the urban ground level, where Swiss specialties awaited them in the restaurant and the shop.
Man, Nature and Technology in Symbiosis
The exhibition explored the balanced relationship between man, nature and technology in Switzerland.
On the upward ramp there were ten pairs of binoculars that narrated the prologue and on the downward one there were another forty pairs that offered three-dimensional virtual perspectives on how well Switzerland is equipped and functions. They showed the country’s air and water quality as well as successful, innovative and sustainable solutions, for example in urban design and public transport.
After the prologue, visitors met 12 life-size Swiss men and women, each of whom appeared on two 42″ screens placed one above the other that were distributed around the room. At first the men and women simply stood there waiting, hardly moving, following visitors with their gaze. At the touch of a button, the person became active and started to speak. Depending on the button pressed, the original soundtrack was overlaid by the English or Chinese translation. Through the selection of very different personalities – from various walks of life and age groups – the screens presented as multifaceted and balanced a cross-section of Switzerland’s population as possible: a pensioner, a schoolgirl, a deaf student, a working mother, a gardener, Professor Hans-Rudolf Schalcher, Renzo Blumental, Nelly Wenger, an entrepreneur, Patrick Odier, Dr. Bertrand Piccard, Michelle Calmy-Rey and Sergei Aschwanden. They talked about themselves and their life in Switzerland; about their projects, opportunities, visions and dreams, with a particular focus on their own contribution to a sustainable, high-quality and healthy future.
Three-Storey Mountain Panorama
Behind these personalities, the IMAX film ‘The Alps’ presented a large 17 x 10 meter panorama extending over three levels. Nine projection surfaces merge seamlessly into one image. The camera moved slowly so that the mountains were intensively experienced from different perspectives: from far away to close up, from a flight over the mountain peaks to a direct confrontation with a precipitous rock face. K4 high definition shots in the IMAX format combined with a real viewing balcony permitted an impressive closeness to reality.
The Exhibition of the Swiss Pavilion at the Expo 2010 Shanghai
Duration: 1/5/2010 – 31/10/2010
Conception, planning and realisation of media
Large scale projection out of 9 projectors
Virtual swiss people in full length on columns out of two 42″ monitors
Stereo binoculars with 3D pictures
Multi channel audio installations
Swiss Pavilion Expo 2010 Shanghai
Binoculars on the ramp
The Visions – Media columns with life-size Swiss men and women
Report on the exhibition of the Swiss Pavilion on ARD Morgenmagazin of 27 April 2010
Three-storey mountain panorama