Over 1,000 square meters of architectural glasses, several hundred lighting elements, 9,000 LEDs floating inside specialized glass and a 383-square meter solar façade – this is SCHOTT’s contribution to the architecture and exhibition of the German Pavilion. Photo: SCHOTT/A. Sell
Living better – A City in Balance
”balancity” – the largest pavilion that Germany has ever had built for an EXPO – sets architectural and design standards with its balanced approach.
The visitor finds himself surrounded by a sea of city noises. A moving walkway takes him into the depths of a tunnel illuminated by blue light. Thousands of tiny lamps blink inside a long glass wall on the right. The pattern is designed to look like a public transportation system. The lamps also spell out the word ”balancity” in Chinese characters.
This tunnel represents the entrance area to the exhibition inside the German Pavilion at EXPO 2010 in Shanghai that was designed by Milla & Partner, and it prepares the visitor for the Pavilion’s message: ”balancity” – a term created by combining the words ”Balance” and ”City” that stands for a city that is in balance when it comes to renewal and preservation, innovation and tradition, urbanity and nature, society and its individuals. Balance is also the underlying theme behind the ideas for the German Pavilion and is reflected in both the exhibit from Milla & Partner and the architecture of Schmidhuber + Kaindl. Already from afar, one can see the building sculpture that consists of four main structures that, in themselves, look as if they are about to tip over. In an ensemble, however, these structures become quite stable and symbolize the play between the forces of carrying and burdening, leaning and supporting. At the same time, the entire complex blends in harmoniously with the landscape. The structures appear to float over the top of the terrace area like umbrellas that offer shade and shelter from rain.
Fiber optic technology from SCHOTT is explained inside three boxes and thus becomes an exhibit of its own. Photo: SCHOTT/A. Sell
(On top):Innovative design products that make life in the city more enjoyable can be found inside 90 high-bay storage boxes inside the Depot. (Below): Innovations, products and techniques from Germany are presented inside the Factory. These include the Zerodur® glass-ceramic that is used as a mirror substrate material in astronomical telescopes. Photo: SCHOTT/A. Sell
Ceran® glass-ceramic cooktop panels, on the other hand, are better known in Chinese households. In 2002, a plant that manufactures Ceran® cooktop panels was even built on Chinese soil in Suzhou. Inside the Depot, visitors are given the opportunity to cook a virtual German or Chinese meal on a Ceran® cooktop panel at an interactive station. Although it is not quite as well known, Zerodur® glass-ceramic is just as unique and can be seen and experienced inside the Factory. This material has a coefficient of thermal expansion close to zero. For this reason, it is particularly well-suited for use in the large mirror telescopes common to astronomy. Still other German innovations can be seen inside the factory, for instance receivers for solar thermal power plants and solutions in the area of photovoltaics that are explained by movies, which SCHOTT helped to produce, that are shown at the interactive scanner stations.
The solar façade of the EXPO Pavillion with 383 square meters of ASI® Thru photovoltaic modules from SCHOTT converts sunlight into electricity, yet allows people to look through it and 10 percent incident light to pass through. Photo: SCHOTT/A. Sell
The solar façade is embedded in a base that looks like a model of the earth’s layers. By creating the link between nature and technology, the theme of the Pavilion is picked up once again. Instead of the raw material coal that one would expect to find in one of the layers, silicon in refined form as solar cells takes over this function and symbolizes the changeover to sustainable power generation. According to experts, multifunctional glass panes that serve as partitions, projection surfaces and energy generators that interlock in a clever manner are certain to play a more important role in architecture in the future. The glass wall inside the Tunnel is a good example. It serves as a room boundary, decoration and lighting all at once. Here, the ”LightPoints” appear to be floating inside glass because their power is supplied by invisible conductor paths that are applied to the glass using a special coating technique.
Warm reunion at the EXPO: Germany’s former Federal President Horst Köhler (left) and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Udo Ungeheuer (right), Chairman of the Board of Management of SCHOTT AG, on German National Day. In the middle: Dietmar Schmitz, Commissioner General of the German Pavillion. Photo: SCHOTT/A. Sell
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