Helen & Hard‘s extraordinary pavilion for Norway at this year’s World Expo Fair 2010 in Shanghai is a forest of fascination! Called “Norway Powered by Nature,” the structure is a solar powered landscape consisting of 15 independently functioning “trees” which at end-of-life can pack flat and be shipped away to each become part of a new landscape of their own.
The Norway Pavilion puts a strong environmental emphasis on educating visitors who can retire from the hot outdoors by entering the pavilion through a refreshing cold mist. Then, they are welcomed by interactive LCD screens that provide information about Norwegian culture and the pavilion itself. The strong influence that nature plays on Norwegian culture is presented in the pavilion by dividing the large space into representations of four distinct and different Norwegian terrains or landscapes. The Coast, Forest, Fjords and the Artic are all represented as spatial sequences forming visual, tactile, auditory and physical zones within the pavilion’s structure.
The structure of the pavilion consists of a sensory and multifunctional “forest” constructed from a series of 15 assembled “trees.” Each “tree” can function on its own or as part of the infrastructure for the “forest.” At the end-of-life, the pavilion can be disassembled so each “tree” structure can be relocated and become part of a new landscape elsewhere.
Each “tree” structure within the pavilion possesses its own trunk and roots, and four branches constructed of laminated timber, all topped with a canopy made of fabric. The roots help to define each of the four zones and are perforated with specific patterns reflecting each type of terrain. The canopy is made of a four-point sail membrane construction that acts as a diffuser during the day and allows natural daylight to filter into the interior space. All secondary structure and exhibition surface areas will be constructed of a new Chinese-developed sustainable material called Glubam – glue-laminated bamboo.
Technology plays an important role in the energy efficiency of the structure. Solar panels, water collection and adjustable air vents allow for an efficient power system and a healthy indoor environment. Norway is currently a frontrunner of water purification development, and to engage visitors, rainwater collection is displayed allowing the public to actually drink and test the newly purified water.