The Federal Republic of Germany is intent on conveying this very personal German perspective – credibly and memorably. Germany's contribution to the EXPO 2010 "Better City, Better Life" theme is called:
The architecture of the German pavilion is very much like a dynamic, urban organism, an accessible three-dimensional sculpture, mirroring the diversity of life in the city and the country in Germany.
Poland and Switzerland. The four pavilions are grouped around a small EXPO plaza which is intended for events.
in a spiral consisting of three staircases, where he finally reaches the pavilion's event area.
The visitor's journey though the German pavilion is a discovery of balancity. The visitor travels through typical urban spaces: rooms for work and thought, spaces for recreation and leisure, rooms to live in and places for culture and community.
The point of arrival for pavilion visitors is an accessible terraced landscape. Very large postcards of German landscapes and landmarks from the various federal states – written by Jens to Yanyan – are positioned along the way. The visitors reach the inside of the city, moving past interactive displays, which offer impressions of life in Germany for all the senses. At the same time, these postcards serve as photo-taking points, where even waiting in the queue can turn into an exciting and fascinating discovery tour.
The visitors' path slowly climbs leading to a ramp. Here, aerial shots of typical German urban structures are set in the floor along with displays or interactive exhibit-posts that open up a multitude
of impressions – as through a magnifying glass. Via explanatory texts, exciting facts and figures on German cities, the visitors can find out more about the individual images – the sounds, sights, feelings and even the scents of Germany.
In groups of 20, visitors are let into the city. They enter a moving walkway passing through a pulsating tunnel and, via multimedia presentations, they are drawn into a sea of urban images and sounds: trains, cars, buses and loudspeaker announcements interspersed with bird calls, the sounds of a rowboat in motion and children's laughter.
The end of the tunnel opens up onto a deep-blue underwater room where visitors experience the sounds of water, air bubbles and shimmering reflections. They break through the surface of the water above and enter a fascinating futuristic urban environment: the Hamburg harbour with daylight atmosphere, blue sky, the cry of seagulls, people. Spectacular skylines emerge and typical harbour sounds resound. It is not only about renewal here. It is also about preservation, about creating something new on a platform of heritage and tradition.
A new, even larger room unfolds out of an urban skyline, with oversized plans, models, sketches and urban plans protruding from the walls and floor – as if drifting in the wind. The theme here is innovative, sustainable urban planning and development, depicting the urban infrastructure as a living process. The plans and sketches evolve and take on further shape. At the end of the room, visions emerge: new types of urban life, ideas on how people of various ages, lifestyles and nationalities could live together in the future. Yanyan and Jens offer insight on these ideas and projects from Germany.
Moving through a bright sea of flowers radiating energy, power and vitality, the visitor enters balancity's garden. The room depicts images, sounds and three-dimensional objects, bringing to life the significance of private green spaces and moments of relaxation amidst a modern, pulsating metropolis. As well, children can access the next room via a huge slide.
A large, dark, red-shimmering room welcomes visitors on their journey through balancity. Shelftype structures reaching up to the ceiling are filled with famous inventions and design products – articles that enhance the quality of life in the city. Here, we present the diversity of German design and technology developments. The visitors then enter a state-of-the-art production hall: the Factory.
This is a room that is in constant motion. Visitors are led by moving walkways through the factory where conveyors belts cross each other at different levels above them. These are carrying the innovations, the products, the processes created by German companies and institutions. At interactive scanner stations, visitors can find out more about the objects' functions. Technical information is available as well. A further area of the factory presents futuristic material developments from Germany, where visitors are invited to touch, feel, smell and directly experience these materials.
In clear contrast to the Factory, the urban space that follows radiates peace and serenity: with daylight atmosphere, a fresh breeze, the scent of flowers and birds chirping. "Viewing bells" offering 360° panoramic perspectives are suspended from above, opening the way for visitors to experience public green spaces in German cities.
The journey through the city leads visitors away from the daylight towards an environment with stage lighting. The visitors enter a room full of life behind the stage. A variety of cabinets open up views onto cultural projects, where visitors can experience the significance of culture to urban life.
In the German pavilion, the Opera is presented as a location where encounters take place, where culture, art and tradition are preserved and evolved. At the entrance to this area, the visitors cross a theatre curtain, and they hear applause. Surprised, they realise they are standing in the middle of a stage with an orchestra pit and a small tribune. They are actually part of the staging in a modern opera performance.
Once the visitors leave the Opera, a large room opens up in front of them. They are now at the centre of balancity, in a large square which also serves as a waiting room. This area stretches over many levels. An enormous window, with a semi-transparent membrane, opens up onto a view of the sky and the German pavilion's front square.
The Energy Source is where the energy a city needs to live originates. It is the heart of balancity and the ultimate highlight of the German pavilion.
The motion the visitors have activated takes on speed and intensity. The sphere begins to oscillate. A multitude of images from Germany and from balancity flash by the visitors' eyes.
Then, the sphere becomes still. The room gleams in a green light and a natural, very pleasant atmosphere – including a blue sky – takes over. A globe transforms into a seed, the seed into a blossom. New life emerges. With positive feelings in their hearts, our visitors leave the German pavilion, filled with a common energy – and taking new, attractive and unforgettable images from Germany for their journey ahead.
The German Pavilion - Key Facts:
Title of the German Pavilion: balancity
Size of pavilion plot: Approx. 6,000 m²
Pavilion size: Approx. 5,750 m²
Pavilion height: 20 m
Staff: Approx. 130
Visitor capacity: 39,000 – 46,000 per day
Total expected visitors: 7.2 – 8.6 million
Share of total number of EXPO visitors: 10 – 12 %
Duration of pavilion visit: 15 to 45 minutes
Duration of pavilion show: 5 – 7 minutes
Show frequency: 65 – 78 per day, 11,960 – 13,500 throughout the duration of EXPO
Design, planning and realization of the German Pavilion: Consortium German Pavilion Shanghai, comprising: Milla und Partner GmbH, Stuttgart, Schmidhuber + Kaindl GmbH, Munich, and Nüssli Deutschland GmbH, Roth