The theme of the Expo 2010 was Better Cities Better Life and in this context BIG architects designed an expressive pavilion that showed the main qualities of Copenhagen by having real city bikes, a harbor pool and the Little Mermaid integrated in the exhibition.

The Danish Pavilion was designed as a looping spiral, creating an elongated and varied exhibition that could be experienced as a pedestrian or on a Copenhagen city bike. The expressive form has over 300 meters of facade with more than 3,500 wholes. Each having opaque acrylic tubes installed connecting the inside and the outside. The tubes vary in size and makes it possible to look inside and out of the building and creates a natural ventilation. But the tubes also have another function. Each hole is equipped with a powerful full-color LED light source that can illuminate the tube and hereby the building.

The light sources in the tubes are controlled by 16 sensors - 8 which measures the current temperature in and around the facade, and 8 which measures the light. The sensors are installed and distributed on the façade giving a total picture of temperature and light conditions around the pavilion. The data from the sensors was interpreted by a specially created software that controlled and ran the light designs throughout the pavilion. Information from the light sensors controlled when and what visual effects to activate and the temperature affected the color temperature of the light design.

One of the main concepts of the light designs has been to keep a natural and consistent look of the pavilion. This shows especially in the nightfall when the light is in the pavilion is slowly turned on. Whereas the holes in the facade appear as black windows during the day, they are lit in the evening and create a new layer of communication to the pavilion.
The 627 pixels in length and nine in height are used for different effects, patterns and information that varies in intensity and speed. Light designs that surprises, entertains and informs, from subtle and understated experiences to more powerful and spectacular ones.

Opening period: From the 1st of May 2010 to the 31st of October 2010
Visitors: More than 70,000,000 visitors in the exhibition area and more than 5,500,000 in the Danish Pavilion

300 meters of facade
2,800 m2 of exhibition space
1,300 tons of steel
230 m3 of water in the basin of the Little Mermaid

3,500 powerful full-color LED lamps
1,350 meter White LED Strips
8,500 meters power and signal cables
Specially developed software for the management and settlement
As well as a myriad of different lamp products
Total budget for the Danish Pavilion in Shanghai: Dkr. 150,000,000

See for more information about the design process behind the light designs

Martin Professional,

Project leader Media Facades, Rune Nielsen and Morten Lervig

See the following link for more media architecture projects:

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