Polish Pavilion, Shanghai World Expo 2010
POLISH EXPO 2010 EXPOSITION PAVILION, 2400 sqm, design 2007, construction 2010.
Designed by Polish architects Wojciech Kakowski, Natalia Paszkowska and Marcin Mostafa, the basic facade of the Poland Pavilion appears incredibly delicate. The lace-effect exterior is actually based on the motif of folk-art paper cut-out or, as WWA put it, ‘a rendering of the motif, a transcription of an elementary aesthetic code into the contemporary language of architectural decor’. Whilst it may look immeasurably delicate, the facade has been constructed from impregnated CNC plotter-cut plywood with a steel substructure, making it deceivingly strong. WWA have stated that whilst they wished to present a pavilion that showcased the extent ‘of Polish design achievements’, it was imperative for them to create a structure that was intrinsically and unmistakably Polish. As such, their (almost feminine) design attempts to reinterpret old traditions, ‘by way of inspiration rather than replication’. The Polish Pavilion has the added bonus of being equally mesmerizing by day and by night, and also from the interior and exterior. Visually striking during the day, at night, multicolored lights seep through the extensively punctured facade with dramatic effect. From inside the structure, ‘the sun rays shining through chisel, by light and shade, the space under the vault’, providing an equally impressive experience for visiting patrons. The basic form of the building can be compared to a folded sheet of card, with the wide adjacent ramp allowing visitor access to the roof, turning the entire structure into a huge exhibition space. [WAN]