These candy-coated pavilions could be straight out of a Teletubby wonderland, but are actually an art installation in a waterfront park in Shanghai. Before the 2010 World Expo last year, the city created a new park along the Huangpu river to contribute to the expo's theme of “better city, better life”. Although the expo is over and done and most of the amazing pavilions are torn down, the park remains and is a fixture in the lives of the people who live nearby and use it daily. These wind-powered pavilions in Bailanjing Park designed by Taranta Creations are part of a series of art installations along the waterfront. Their nighttime lights are powered by the wind and each pavilion serves a different fun purpose, like singing karaoke, playing chess, dancing, or sitting and relaxing with friends.
Parks in China are used extensively by residents throughout the day to practice tai chi, dance, meet friends, relax or eat. Bailanjing Park along the river is a new development to increase the urban green space and includes a number of interactive art installations along the way. Inspired by ancient Chinese Fengkafei tea pavilions, Taranta Creations wanted to build an installation that added more than a visual stimulus to the park. They wanted people to use the pavilions, play in them, interact, socialize and relax. Built up on stilts to protect from flooding, the pavilions also remind visitors of the potential for flooding.
Brightly painted, the candy-coated pavilions are a stark and welcome contrast to Shanghai’s perpetual gray skies. The quirky shapes and in combination with their super saturated colors give the pavilion cluster the appearance of candy. Each pavilion is inspired by the diversity of Chinese recreational cultures and serves a different purpose. For instance one is equipped with microphones and a screen to be used to sing karaoke, while another has trays to store chess and card games. Another pavilion has places to keep you bottles cold while you sit in there visiting with friends during the summer and another is a jukebox for dancing. Shiny silver wind turbines mounted on top of the pavilions generate enough power to light the pavilions at night.
Images ©Zhang Jun Photography