Gallery: Futuristic Oceanic Pavilion Unveiled for 2012 Yeosu Expo


Emergent Architecture and Kokkugia have designed an incredible Oceanic Pavilion for the Yeosu 2012 Expo in Korea, which will provide another showcase of amazing architecture once the Shanghai Expo has wound to a close. Intended as a centerpiece for the expo, the Oceanic Pavilion is a “celebration of the ocean as a living organism and the co-existence of human culture and ocean ecosystem.” Designed with the help of computer scripts, the amphibious pavilion is made from a series of ETFE membranes and armature that take on a life of their own through their organic layout.

While the 2010 Shanghai Expo is focused on the theme of “Better City, Better Life,” Yeosu’s theme is the living ocean and her coastlines. Deep pleats and mega-armatures composed of fiber composite form the structure of the pavilion, while ‘air beams’ spread over and stabilize the ETFE membranes. Then micro-armatures (also called Mohawks) spread out over the structure like veins, adding additional structural stiffness and ornamentation. Color also plays an important role in the design of the pavilion and is used to intensify transformations in structural behavior – mega-armatures tend towards purple and pink, while ‘Mohawks’ tend towards orange and yellow.

The ETFE membrane bubbles allow natural daylight to seep into the interior of the building and also provide a bit of a thermal barrier and insulation. They are also remarkably lightweight and ensure that the crazy organic structure can be easily deconstructed at the end of the celebration.

+ Emergent Architecture

+ Kokkugia

Via eVolo


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  1. Wei Chao Tee February 24, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    the f is wrong with you guys nobody is going to look at the building from a helicopter every single day what is with the obsession of plan views anyway when you\\\’re not going to even see it from this point of view except for from a computer?

  2. Dim May 13, 2010 at 10:32 am

    benuerun i’m glad you said that because I was thinking the same thing. ther design is very cool and futuristic but I just can’t get past the initial emotional response.
    Having a giant beached whale covered in oil is maybe not the best way to “celebrate the ocean as a living organism”. simple enough problem to overcome. rearange the plan and change the shape of the building so you no longer have that visual connection.

  3. akay May 13, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Ugh! It’s not just you! It also looks half dissected or something


  4. benerun May 13, 2010 at 9:09 am

    Is it just me, or does that big picture look like a beached whale covered in crude oil, as if it were swimmin’ around in the Gulf and laid out on Louisiana’s coastline to dry out?

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