Preview Australian Pavilion in Shanghai Expo

Visited Australian Pavilion of Shanghai Expo 2010 this morning with Wendy. I’d like to thank Peter, Lina and Sarah for the invitation and great accompany. As a blogger, I am always excited to be part of the development of this city, and share my first hand information with my readers worldwide. The Australian Pavilion project team obviously has been very nice to me to allow me to take a closer look at what is going on inside that highly secure guarded and mysterious Expo site. You will see my photos of the whole tour of many other pavilions (photo from outside) here: Preview of Shanghai Expo Site (Photos). Now, let me show you one of my favorite pavilions on the site: the Australian Pavilion.

You may always read my previous two posts about the Australian Pavilion. I feel happy to be involved in such an interesting project from the beginning, and see it develops to be better and better.

Australia Pavilion’s Construction Site

Australian Pavilion Foundation Completed

The Site

If you remember, the Australian Pavilion is at the corner of the Elevated Pedestrian, right under the Lupu Bridge. It is at the west side of the Theme Pavilion, with a big open ground in between. It is also at the exit of Metro Line #13 – great location!

Image taken from Australia Pavilion’s Construction Site

Hope this photo helps you to establish a sense of where the building is. I took this photo from the south of the pavilion, facing north. The Lupu Bridge is on the left (the elevated road), and Huangpu River is just north of the Australian Pavilion. If you are curious, the China Pavilion and the Expo Blvd is on the right (east).

The big Australian in Chinese is shining on the south side of the building. It is where the main entrance is.

The Surface and the Steal

The facade of the Australian Pavilion is very special. I heard about the steel in the last time – its color changes along the time. Don’t be confused. The color of the steal is FINISHED! It is not like the rusty steel pending to be painted.

This is a closer look to the surface of the pavilion.

How about I tough it? The finger does get dirty – the rust, but very slightly.

The Journey Starts from a Tube

As you can see from this image, there is plastic tube surrounding the building.

That is exactly how the visitors tour the pavilion. Entering the gate, you are in a big indoor open space, where people can gather and watch performance. On the right hand side, is the start of the huge tube. The journey to Australia starts here.

The tube is designed to allow 90 people to pass every minute. This is a must because there is a theater at the middle of the journey along this tube. It holds 1000 people and the show is about 10-12 minutes. That means, at the maximum, 1000 people may leave theater every 10 minutes.

Following Peter and Sarah, we entered the tube.

I like the design of Australian Pavilion a lot – it is just like the Gugenhaimn Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York – there is no need for elevators. People use their own foot to walk along the slope inside the tube to get to the top and get down. I even took an impressionism photo of this tube.

Tube and Shanghai

Inside the Tube, you are in Australia, and outside, it is Shanghai and the world. The tube is transparent in many sections.

You can see the Lupu Bridge if you are at the west side of the Pavilion via the semi-transparent tube.


On the west and north side of the Australian Pavilion is the elevated pedestrian. Visitors can calmly walk on the car-free pedestrian and gain access to most of the pavilions.

There is a metro exit right downstairs. It is said to be the line #13. Metro Line #8 and #7 are already opened, and there are two stations inside the Expo site, and the Line #13 will go east-west soon. The Expo site seems to be both good for walking and metro transition.

The Theater

On the north of the Pavilion is a theater. As I mentioned, it holds 1000 people. There are not seats inside – you can lean toward the poles to get rest to watch the 10 minutes show. It won’t be live show – just like a film with rotating screens.

This is the stage. Obviously, it is not finished yet.

Installation of Exhibition Already Started

The Australian Pavilion team is taking every opportunity to lead the Shanghai Expo Pavilion constructions. They were the first to finish the foundation, the first to complete the main structure, and I guess maybe the first to start the installation of the exhibition. Look!

Looking Forward to the Party Time!

May 1, 2010 will be the start of the party. The hosts of each pavilion, like the Australian Pavilion, have been busy preparing for the party, and they worked really hard for it. Let’s give them the best wishes to have a smooth opening and let’s party in 2010 in Shanghai.

Photograph by Lina Han

Photograph by Lina Han

Is there Monthly Ticket for Expo?

I want to get a monthly ticket for Expo so I can visit the site any time I want, but only to find out they don’t have such ticket type.

They offers the following types:

Daily Pass

3 Day Pass

7 Day Pass

Night Pass – good after 17:00 everyday, sold on site (90RMB)

It seems the 7 day pass is attractive, but 3 day and 7 day pass are not available for sale now. The price for 7 days will be 900 RMB, and 3 days be 400 RMB. Available to public from Jan 1, 2010.

The official website has more details here. The price table is here.

Surface of Roads in Shanghai Recovers

For the Shanghai Expo 2010 the next year, Shanghai government has tried everything possible to make the city look better. Although most of the efforts are just once in few decades type of thing, like painting the facade of most buildings, it does have some positive impact to this city.

Most of the roads are re-constructed. The tiles on the pedestrian roads are changed, and lift the shoulder of roads – the reason my ankle was broken two months ago. Now, many roads enter into a stage to wrap up the mess with nice bitumen.

Huashan Road, for example, looks very nice from the surface. It looks so dark, and clear on the surface. The construction of metro stations are also to an end. For example, the Huashan Road and Huaihai Road interact is almost ready for traffic today.

Hope when the construction all finishes, the city can calm down and present itself to visitors the next year. The cost? It can be quickly forgotten, just as what I will do to my broken ankle few months from today.

Second Impression of Shanghai Expo Site

This is a follow up article after my previous article: First Impression of Shanghai Expo Site

The other day, I visited the Shanghai Expo Site with the Australia Pavilion Group. Before I entered the site, I took a picture of the current Shanghai Expo Land site:

This is the picture of the site on May 9, 2009. If you still remember, in the previous article, I posted a similar photo from a little bit higher than this view point, you will find out the building behind changed a lot.

Photo of February 2009

From there, I started my journey of exploration.

The Entrance to the Site

To my surprise, the entrance of the whole Shanghai Expo Construction Site is actually behind the building shown on the picture. You go deep into the back of the Shanghai Expo Land building, and there is a gate. I thought beyond the gate is a bigger parking lot. It turned out that it IS the actual entrance to the site. Obviously the check at the gate was very serious, and only identified vehicles can enter the site. I always wanted to drive into the expo site myself. Now it seems to be a mission impossible. If you want to explore the Expo Site, you’d better find someone working inside. There is another entrance at the west of the site (on the Pudong South Road) and it was also guarded.

What’s Inside

The Expo site now is still pretty empty. The roads are ready and the permanent buildings like China Pavilion, the Expo Center, and Theme Pavilion were already in good shape. Here are some photos of the buildings under construction.

Theme Pavilion

Below is the outside of the Theme Pavilion.

The Theme Pavilion is north-west direction on the west side of the Expo Blvd.

“Pardon for my appearance” – the theme pavilion is still surrounded by temp power lines, and other construction site.

The Performance Center

The Expo Performance Center is at the north of Pudong side of the Expo, and east of Expo Blvd. It is huge inside – 18,000 people stage will be installed.

The Japan Pavilion

The Japan Pavilion just get started. As you see from the following picture, they just started to build the elevator.

The China Pavilion

The China Pavilion was structually completed long time ago, and they are installing facade for the huge building. It is supposed to be red, and now it is still pure gray.

Other Buildings

There are many other buildings scattered in the Shanghai Expo Site that I cannot recognize what it is. Let’s wait until the Expo starts.

Surrounding Areas

Leaving the expo site, you enters into the city, and it is, just as inside, another construction site. Look at the South Pudong Road – maybe one of the worst road today, but it will be turned into one of the best one in the near future, when all the construction is completed.

Anyway, the Haibao welcomes you despite of the temp difficulties for the city.

Australia Pavilion’s Construction Site

I am happy to be invited to the Australia Pavilion’s construction site inside the Shanghai 2010 Expo Site. Thanks to Anna from Ogilvy PR, and Australia Pavilion team. This is the second time I participate in an even of the Australia Pavilion. I feel very involved with the project. (This was my report from the last time when the foundation was completed).

The Location of the Australia Pavilion

I would complain a little bit that there is no map available to outline the exact location of each pavilion on the Shanghai Expo web site. I searched, and was not able to find one (any reader can point to a direction if you know the existence of this map?). By visiting the construction site, I am able to have some rough idea about where the site is.

It is at the east of the Lupu Bridge, and just south of an elevated pedestrian. On its east is the Expo Theme Pavilion, and Shanghai Expo Center – the two permanent constructions. My first impression is, the Shanghai Expo is so big, and I have no idea about whether the Australia Pavilion has a good location or not – it seems to be the center of the whole site.

This is the relative location with the Lupu Bridge

The Construction Team of the Pavilion

Just as when people review the previous several expo in the history, they will surely put more effort in analyzing how the country prepare for the expo (just like the articles I read today about Qing Dynasty’s participation in the previous few expo), the culture exchange, contrast, and conflict already happens way before the expo starts. Australia Pavilion is an example.

The building of Australia Pavilion was conducted by Bovis, which claimed to be one of the biggest construction company in Australia. The project managers and the management team are Australian, and the workers, of cause, are from China.

The first impression of the construction site was, it was pretty safe. When people like us arriving at the construction site with all kinds of cloths, we were asked to wear the protection equipment, including gloves, a hard hat, glasses for eye protection, and a shining safety dress. After everyone dressed up, it seemed to be a very professional group. The workers, of cause, are very well dressed and protected.

For the topping ceremony, most of the workers have already withdrew from the site, and lined up to witness the ceremony. I started to search about my memory of Chinese construction site: Is this normal safety standard or higher? Since I haven’t visited a Shanghai local construction site yet, I had no basis of comparison, but my gut feeling is, safety was pretty deeply coined into this construction site. Impressive, I would say.

The Ceremony

After everyone arrived, including the VIP guest, the Minister of Trade, a very brief ceremony was held. A big red box with green tree in it was elevated to the top of roof, to mark the milestone of the construction.

Here is the culture conflict point: when the tree quietly “fly” to the top, I heard the construction worker with obvious Sichuan accent commented behind me: “Just this? Where is the firework?” I feel the same thing. Why important event like the completion of the main structure happened without any sound?

Well. I’d like to add here, just as I did in the West meets East section of this blog, I tried to explore, write, and explain the conflict, and help people to understand the differences. There is nothing right or wrong, just the different. With the globalization, people may find out the right mixture in the future such like a big green tree flies onto the top with fireworks fired along with it. Right?

The Site Itself

It is obviously overstated that the Australia Pavilion has completed. It is still far from a completion. It is just the main structure completion – the key semen-tin building in the middle that support the weight of the building. Around this main building, a huge number of big poles are to be built to form the unique curve of building.

The most part except the middle are built with steel. My personally feeling is, it is not as complicated or costly as I thought. It is just like a big toy bricks of steels. The workers just need to number all the parts, and assembly it at the site. With the right diagram, it may seem as easy as assembly a piece of IKEA furniture.

The building blocks of the Pavilion

My Impression

The Australia Pavilion is among the first to construct – there are many pavilion not yet start construction yet, and they are very aggressive to make it a big hit. It is clear that all the pavilions have started competing for attention already, although it is 1 year from the starting day. On the same day, two other pavilions have similar events. Hmmm… The show has started.

After visiting the construction site of Australia Pavilion in the sunny morning, and I started to think about the ultimate question about why we have Expo. Although as costly as it seems to, to have a chance for people to work together, and put everything so different into the same place, may create something that is never possible otherwise. It is just like a costly art work – the change it brings to people is maybe bigger than what people expected. let’s just wait and see whether the magic or chemistry happens.

Expo China Pavilion – Oriental Crown

Here is the Shanghai Expo 2010 China Pavilion, a.k.a Oriental Crown.

Taken by Jian Shuo Wang on March 8, 2009

It does look like a crown.

Where is it?

It is located the crossing road of horizontal and vertical axes. The photo above was taken at the Shangnan Road 上南路 and Pudong South Road 浦东南路. This cross road is also the terminal station of the current Metro Line #8. BTW, Shangnan Road will be the main axes for the Expo site.

The Architect

The China Pavilion is reported to cost 1.5 billion RMB. It is also one of the first visible architect in the Shanghai Expo Site…

The color of China Pavilion is red. They have a special name for this exact red: Gugong Red, ( 故宫红, or Forbidden City Red). If you see the rendered photo of the completed building, you will find out it is exactly the same red as the walls of the Forbidden City.

The shape of the China Pavilion seems to be created by wood. Imagine you have many toy bricks (long and short), you can create the same architect without any fixing equipment. The whole China Pavilion looks like everything is just put on a pile.

Rendered effect of China Pavilion. Photo in courtesy of Shanghai Expo 2010 Site

The 63 meter tall building looks much taller than it actually is. I guess it is because of its size – it is not higher than most of the buildings in Shanghai, but it is still may be one of the biggest buildings in this city.

The Wisdom of Chinese Architect

The wisdom of Chinese accident wooden architect is, they don’t use nail or fastening things like that. They just put wood part on top of each other. The core is, the wood has too be carefully crafted, so they fit each other perfectly. It is as simple as that.

The whole China Pavilion, as a whole, is just one of the basic element of Chinese architect. It is called Dougong 斗拱. Look at these pictures to understand what it is. Dougong is just the complicated supporting structure on top of a pole in a big building.

This structure started from 2000 years ago (700 BC) till today, and the architectural blood line passed on to 2010. I love this design a lot.

The next time you check out a Chinese wooden building, look up to the top of the big poles, and you will see a Dougong, or in the future, I guess people may say: “There is a Expo China Pavilion on top of each pole of Chinese accident architect”.

Australian Pavilion Foundation Completed

I am currently sitting at the audience seat of a special event: Shanghai Expo Australian Expo Pavilion Foundation Completion Ceremony. I was invited by Ogilvy Public Relationship Shanghai as a "journalist" of digital media – interestingly enough, this is the first time. The original ceremony was planned to be held before the Australian Pavilion construction site (wow!) but now it was moved to a conference room inside the Expo Land building due to the heavy rain this morning. As you can imagine, it is not fun at all if you have to get to the center of a construction site in this weather. Pretty disappointed, to be honest, and I want to find other ways to get into the site – I mean before the Expo starts. I am a big fan of construction site.

The Australian Pavilion

The Australian Pavilion has been shown in Metro stations and along the roads across the whole Shanghai. I just understood that the reddish color of the pavilion symbolizes the red earth of Australia – I didn’t think about it yet. 

Image in courtesy of Australia Pavilion and Shanghai Expo website

Photo taken by Jian Shuo Wang via Nokia N78

The Meaning of an Expo?

Many of my readers, my friends, and even me for some time were wondering why there should be an Expo at the first place.

Culture Event

The Australia Pavilion, for example, has a big performance center with capacity of 1000 people on the 3th floor of the pavilion. There will be art performance there (daily?).

Imagine that even without an Expo, how many culture events happening everywhere across the globe? You see many performance from many countries in the Oriental Performance Art center, and events like France year in China, and China Year in France. What a great idea to have an altogether party for every country to participate? That is the idea behind World Expo.

VIP Business Areas

According to the materials they distribute, there will be 200+ invitation only business meetings inside the pavilion. Whoever challenges about why have meetings should admit that it is way more effective to have gather everyone in a bigger party, than having many 1:1 meetings. A big meeting involves one travel arrangement for each party, while the other way means thousands of travels from so many parties. To have a business meeting center inside the Pavilion is a great idea. I am sure many pavilions do the same. To have a 100-day "big meeting", it brings everyone from the world to gather in one site (Expo Site), and help to facilitate communication and boost business opportunities.

Australian Food

This morning’s event include show case of Australian food. According to the organizer, the food were prepared by the same food vendor for the Australia Pavilion in 2010.

Photo taken by Jian Shuo Wang

Photo taken by Jian Shuo Wang

I am not a big fan of food, and it is a waste of resource to give me really good food (especially western food – I just feel I am a rabbit). For breakfast, Baozi + Bean Milk seem a better combination than cake + orange juice. I believe that is the reason to have food exchange program to help people understand the difference of food.

BTW, when Mr. Peter Tesch, Commissioner-General of the Expo effort from DFAT fo Australia told us what to expect, he mentioned “The drinks will be cold, and the food will be delicious…”. I thought to myself, it would be a great chance in this Expo event to help to translate the meaning of “the drink will be cold” into Chinese, because, for Chinese people, if you say, the drink will be cold, that is worst thing. We say, the tea will be hot… :-) By mixing the culture and business of Australia and China together would be the most beneficial thing I can imagine in the coming expo.

The New Logo

The new logo of the Australia Pavilion is very nice. Without any explanation, I can recognize the Australia map, the blue sky, the red earth, and the golden sand beach. I would not have had the ability to understand it without my rewarding trip to Australia in October 2007.

Good luck to the construction of the Australia Pavilion, and look forward to experience the great “Journey” the Pavilion promised to 70 million visitors in 2010.

P.S. Anna sent me the picture of the Australia Pavilion construction site:

Credit: anonymous

It seems we didn’t miss too much today. :-)

First Impression of Shanghai Expo Site

Note: this entry was overwritten by another one for some time, and I have now recovered it

Well. To be more exact, this is my first impression of the Shanghai Expo planning headquarter which is located partly inside the Shanghai Expo Site.

Where is it?

The Shanghai Expo Building is located #3588, Pudong South Road. Coming from the north of the Pudong South Road, you can see a 12-story building with big ExpoLand logo on it. That is it.

What is it for?

To prepare for the Shanghai Expo, Shanghai government setup a special organization called Bureau of Shanghai Expo Co-ordination. Even people like me who don’t really understand the Chinese government structure can see the significance of setting up a standalone bureau in a government means.

The Bureau of Shanghai Expo Co-ordination is located on the second and third floor of the ExpoLand building. I found it out both by the name plate at the entrance and by intentionally got lost twice.

The fourth floor is the conference facility, and most of the floors above 4th floor are occupied by the Shanghai Expo Land Holding Co. Ltd. That must be the reason why this build is marked as ExpoLand building. I suspect (not sure) that it is the same structure as most other mega projects in Shanghai: The government will setup a holding company (instead of a government agency) to interface with the participating countries and organizations, and do it in a pretty market oriented way. They have done this successfully in the construction of Shanghai Metro and most of the bridges and expressways.

The Buildings

The entrance of the Shanghai Expo organizing center is petty narrow, but when you enter it, you will see many buildings (11 as far as I see).

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

These are all the buildings with busy people preparing for the event.

Below are the new buildings – seems to be many office buildings spreading out along the Huangpu River – from the lowest on the south and taller at the north area.

Inside the building #1:

My Impressions

  1. The Expo is Near. You can see people busy working there, and the sites are being built.
  2. Very professional organizational work. I have a strange feeling that I am in a company, not a government leading initiative. The design and internal facility inside the expo building mislead me to believe that it is a normal company that I have visited. Pretty big contrast with the traditional government image.
  3. International. It is by no means just a Shanghai effort. People from many countries participated. I saw many people outside China working there. The dining room is big and impressive. I believe they are as involved as organizer, if more than them.
  4. The standard is high. I just feel at the background of city development of Shanghai, the expo site must of world class, based on my observation of newly built buildings, and renew of the old facilities.

Below is the Google Satellite map of the Expo headquarter I talked about:

Shanghai 2010 Expo Site

Everyday, we drive along the Nanpu Bridge, and see the Shanghai Expo site spread out on the west side of the bridge – from pretty crowded Shanghai typical residential area, and factories, to a destroyed land with barely nothing, to a big construction site, and then become a new Lujiazui style cluster of high-raising buildings… The change just happens gradually without me even noticing it.

The other day, I took taxi and ran along the Lupu Bridge, and took the picture below:

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

From these photos, the shape of the China Pavilion is ready. More and more countries are joining – the pavilion of the Luxembourg has already started construction. The Australia Pavilion is on the way (they invited me to join their ground breaking event the next week).

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

Below is the China Pavilion:

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

The Area of the Site

Below is a site map of the area.

Image in courtesy of Expo 2010 China website

I would say, to choose to place an expo site into the city center is the best idea ever. Instead of arranging the site to a pre-booked site near the Pudong Airport, having an expo along the Huangpu River helps to bring the two sides of the city together.

I am happy that the site is just 5 km away from my home, and I am seeing new roads, and new viaduct built everyday. I have started to seek for some information about whether they off half-year ticket so I can bring Yifan (3 years old by then) there every weekend…

Prepared for Shanghai World Expo

After the curtain of the Beijing Olympic Games falls down, we can expect the other big event in China – the Shanghai World Expo in 2010. This time, the hosting city changes to Shanghai, the city I am living in. I am very excited about the Expo, and looking forward to a great time during World Expo in Shanghai.

The World Expo Site

Unlike the Beijing Olympic, which is still 1400 km away from my home, the Shanghai World Expo site is pretty close to where I am living – it is just about 3 km away. Everyday when I drive to work and home, I will see the construction of the site on the west side of the Nanpu Bridge. In 2010, I am looking forward to walk to the Expo site to enjoy the exihition there. Here is the area of the Expo site on Google Earth:

You can see the area between the two bridges are almost wiped out to blank. That is exactly where the Expo will be held. Their website provides much more information about the site.

Something Exciting About the Expo

I don’t know too much about the Expo itself yet, but as a local resident, I am excited because of several facts:

  • With the hard deadline of 2010, the city construction speeded up greatly. Many metro lines are under construnction and will start to operate before 2010, including the Jinxiu Road Station of Metro Line #7 at the entrance of my residential area.
  • The Expo Site is IN the city. Unlike most other events in which the site is far from the city, aiming to create a new satelite city, the Shanghai Expo site is planned in the downtown area of the city – just beside the Huangpu River. It is already turning the land into another Lujiazui financial center.

Time for the Expo

It has been decided the Expo will start from May 1, 2010, to Oct 31, 2010. At that time, my Yifan is already 3 year old, and will be able to attend the Expo with me and Wendy. I am happy for him because he can start to tough the “world” when he is still very young.

According to the Shanghai Expo official website, there are 617 days to go from today to the opening of the Expo. BTW, will there be an opening ceremony for it? I don’t remember so for the past expo.

The Site Today

I drove the area the other day. Although from the top of the Nanpu Bridge, you already see many high raised buildings still not finished for the Expo, driving on the road in that area is like driving into a village – there are construction sites everywhere, and the roads are generally narrow, and most of the narrow roads are dead ended. The land is just “as it is” these days before the massive construction starts.

Driving on the road is not the best way to see the expo site. It is closed, and not open. Sometimes I used the holes on gates or walls to look inside the site, but most of the time, I just see empty land. The expo site posted some great photo.

Image in courtesy of Shanghai Expo 2010 site

Image in courtesy of Shanghai Expo 2010 site

Stay Tuned

In the next two years, I will be consistently update about the status of the Shanghai World Expo 2010 on this blog. I am trying to share with you the photo I take by myself, things I heard and feel about the Expo, and its impact to me and people around me. Hopefully, it is as successful as the Olympic Games in Beijing. Let me know if you want me to be your eyes and ears in this city. Remember, my home is just 3 km away from the site.

P.S. Wangjianshuo’s Blog Meetup

A gentle reminder, I will host a Wangjianshuo’s Blog Meetup in the coming Saturday. Click here for more information, and signing up.