CHINA> Regional
Shanghai Expo China hall comes to spotlight amid frenetic attention
Updated: 2009-04-25 11:17

SHANGHAI -- Impossible is nothing. The Adidas advertising slogan applies well to Chinese architectures. On April 20, a unique 24-floor square building came to the spotlight in East China's Shanghai -- the China Hall of the Shanghai 2010 World Expo.

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 About the Shanghai Expo

Unlike traditional buildings, which are wider at the base, the China Hall looks two times larger at the top than at the ground base, something like a Titan standing tall and upright in Pudong New District, an economic hub of the country.

After 16 months of busy construction, the 69-meter-high China Hall, a focus and symbol of the Shanghai 2010 World Expo, has finally completed civil engineering construction and entered the next phase of construction, which will include electrical wiring and exterior decoration.

The China Hall has four gigantic reinforced concrete pillars from a square base with a distance of 70 meters between each pillar. The pillars support increasingly larger floors on top of them. The roof line stretches 140 meters, exactly doubling the length of the base line. The roof, 19,600 square meters, is equivalent to the size of two and a half football fields.

Professor He Jingtang, the chief designer of the China Hall, who is the president of the architecture school of South China University of Technology, said the design  makes the China Hall look grand and magnificent, thus best embodies traditional Chinese architectural features and styles.

"This design symbolizes that China as the crown of the East, height of splendor, granary for all Chinese under the sun," He said.

While the vision is great, construction of the China Hall was difficult.

Ma Longfei, project manager of Shanghai Construction Group (SCG), the general contractor of the project, said constructors have driven 5,000 reinforced concrete piles into the ground to build the China Hall. About 22,000 tons of steel was used to build the hall.

According to the schedule, the China Hall -- with an area of 160,000 square meters, will be fully completed by the end of the year. The total construction will have lasted two years -- one year shorter than building constructions under normal conditions.

"Since the schedule is dead set, we have to work day and night, without any break," said Ma Longfei.

Last November, the China Hall constructors made a record to hoist and install 10,000 tons steel structures in a month.

According to Zhao Jiong, vice-manager of the China Hall project, the China Hall is the largest exhibition hall among all world expos. It involved digging 520,000 cubic meters, casting 500,000 cubic meters concrete, producing and installing 22,000 tons of steel structures, consuming 125 tons of electric welding rods, and paving 40 kilometers pipelines for air conditioners, ventilation, water and electric supply.

The China Hall is designed by three design institutes from Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing. Construction teams from across the country, under the direction of SCG, the general contractor, are working on the project. Thousands of construction workers were devoted to the construction.

"It is my honor to have the chance to participate in constructing the China Hall. I will cherish the experience all my life," said Zuo Hui, a worker with SCG.

The China Hall is separated into various sections for exhibitions from all provinces. The top of the hall is reserved for national booths. This national show section is the only arena allowed to accept donations from people of all ranks.

According to the Shanghai 2010 World Expo Coordination Bureau, since the donation acceptance was announced in September 2007, countless Chinese, including overseas Chinese, flooded their donations, including one yuan from primary school pupils, 10 yuan from laid-off workers, and hundreds of yuan from businessmen. On April 22, Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. and Cheung Kong Holdings Ltd. from Hong Kong, jointly donated 100 million yuan, the largest single donation.

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