Heatherwick Studio’s initial design strategy for the UK Pavilion established three aims to meet the FCO’s key expectation that the pavilion should become one of the five most popular attractions at the Expo. The first aim was to design a pavilion whose architecture was a direct manifestation of what it was exhibiting. The second idea was to ensure a significant area of open public space around it so visitors could relax and choose either to enter the pavilion building, or see it clearly from a calm, non-queuing vantage point. And thirdly, it would be unique among the hundreds of other competing pavilions, events and programmes.
Heatherwick Studio sought an approach that would engage meaningfully with Shanghai Expo’s theme, Better City, Better Life, and stand out from the anticipated trend for technology driven pavilions, filled with audio-visual content on screens, projections and speakers.
In collaboration with a wider project team, the studio developed the idea of the UK Pavilion exploring the relationship between nature and cities. Rather than creating a conventional advertisement for the UK, this was a subject that could make a real contribution to the Expo’s theme; London is the greenest city of its size in the world, the UK pioneered the world’s first ever public park and the world’s first major botanical institution, the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew.
Shanghai Expo 2010
UK Pavilion by Thomas Heatherwick
Shanghai – China