Walk into city utopia at German pavilion

By Tang Zhihao (China Daily)
Updated: 2009-12-05 21:09
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Walk into city utopia at German pavilion

"Balancity", the name bestowed on the Germany pavilion, will serve as a miniature version of a utopian city of the future at next year's Shanghai Expo.

The pavilion will show what eco-conscious urban engineering can produce by balancing renewal and preservation, innovation and tradition, urbanity and nature, and community and individual development.

"You should develop a city in a manner that makes people (want) to live there," said Commissioner-General Dietmar Schmitz.

The 6,000-sq-m pavilion will rank as one of the largest at the Shanghai Expo. Four exhibition structures will appear to hover above a terraced landscape with an event area stretching from the ground level to the third floor.

These four structures will symbolize the interplay between carrying and being carried, leaning on and supporting.

When viewed separately from the outside, each seems out of balance. However they come together to form an integrated whole and achieve an equilibrium that perfectly reflects the concept of balance.

Guests will also get to experience a typical "day in the life" as Yan Yan and Jens, two virtual travelers from China and German respectively, accompany them for the duration of their multimedia tour.

Visitors start out at a harbor and pass through gardens, parks, a town, a factory and a city square before ending up at the city's power plant. Called The Energy Source, this cone-shaped room with dramatically choreographed lighting is one of the highlights of the pavilion and will feature a performance by 600 people.

A sphere measuring 3 m in diameter will use its 400,000 LED points to show pictures, colors and shapes representing harmonious cities as Yan Yan and Jens instruct the audience on how to control the two-ton sphere with their voices and other electrical impulses.

Germany is expecting 10 million visitors at its pavilion, or 40,000 to 45,000 visitors per day over the course of six months.

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