French Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo 2010

The Padiglione Francese for Expo 2010 in Shanghai designed by Jacques Ferrier, carries a positive image of the city and of its relationship with man, a universe where man-made buildings and natural “constructions” are intertwined.

With its Cartesian four-sided shape embraced by a thin concrete grid network, it is suspended over a large mirror of water that reflects it. In the heart of this “display case” a French garden develops vertically to create a totally unexpected sort of theatre setting.

The exhibition route is organised as a gently sloping ramp that surrounds the garden below, so that the landscape is placed at the centre of the  “urban issue”. The Pavilion, which is crossed by visitors as a space of privileged dialogue between the French and Chinese cultures, focuses on the "Sensual City", a place that exalts the six senses – taste, smell, touch, hearing, sight and balance/movement.

Going beyond the traditional opposition between heritage and modernity, this art of living the city invites to a serene, confident attitude vis-à-vis the 21st century.

Thanks to the collaboration of the Orsay Museum  the Pavilion will host 7 great masterpieces of the French art: Angelus by Millet, Le Balcon by Manet, La sale de danse à Arles by Van Gogh, La Femme à la cafetière by Cézanne, La Logede Bonnard also known as Le Repas by Gauguin and L'age d’airain by Rodin.

Lighting Concept described by iGuzzini's Georgio Perini describes the lighting concept, "The building is completely coated with a reticular grid that embraces the pavilion structure. To valorize the architecture, Studio Sexton and Ferrier imagined a very simple concept, which consists in placing 'candles' in each space of the rectangular grid that wraps up the pavilion. The product had to be simple, inexpensive, and perform two main functions: when seen from the outside, the product had to “shine” like a candle, whereas towards the inside it had to illuminate the main structure of the building, thus showing the reticular structure by contrast. For this reason they imagined a simple fluorescent lamp with screw socket, easy to replace and inexpensive, inserted inside a diffusing screen (for 180° - that is to say outwards) made of perforated sheet metal. In some cases the sheet metal covered the product for 360° to avoid glare in the areas where the main building had windows or openings."

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