Yesterday we showed you some of our favorite pavilions’ impressive exterior architecture, but what’s on the inside, you may ask? Why, hyper-realistic megababies and other assorted wonders, of course! Check out a gallery of some of our favorite World Expo pavilion interiors here.
Launch the gallery by clicking the thumbnails.
Check out the rest of our World Expo coverage from Shanghai here:
These gigantic mesh mushrooms spring up through the multi-story elevated walkway that separates the eastern and western halves of the Expo grounds. At night, they light up. Not technically a pavilion, but a major presence.
Van Gogh’s “La Salle de Danse à Arles” is one of several master works imported from the collection of the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.
Traditional folk papercraft, an excellent economy and massively projected hot babes are general themes throughout.
The connected passages inside the Belgian pavilion are modeled after a brain’s neurons.
Inside Belgium’s Brain
This particular neural passageway leads to a fine-looking Belgian restaurant. I guess I’m not the only one whose brain always smells of french fries.
Algae bubbles in a bioreactor in Belgium’s pavilion, which also represents the European Union as a whole.
This is the world’s largest IMAX screen at 1,600 square meters. It appears to be powered by multiple smaller projectors, so I’m not sure actual IMAX film is being used, but nonetheless, it’s stunning. Viewers are gently rotated around the all-screen rotunda on a moving walkway, while images of Saudi oil fields and desertscapes swirl beneath.
Saudi Arabia’s Rotunda
The Guggenheim-like pathway up to the IMAX screen. Everything in the Saudi pavilion is beautifully done, and it’s one of the most popular at the Expo.
The VIP Waiting Room, Saudi Arabia
Aside from wowing the public with video screens of various sizes and shapes, many of the pavilions have office space and meeting rooms for conducting private business. Here is where you wait to talk to someone important in the Saudi pavilion.
Several of the pavilions have restaurants serving the national cuisine. Poland’s looked really great. Find me another Polish restaurant in Shanghai right now and I’ll give you $5.
Spain, Flamenco in a Cave
Under a lowering chandelier of bones (yes). Both walls in this passageway are massive video screens. The dance, along with some truly cool full-wall visuals of Pamplona, Pau Gasol, assorted hams and other Spanish treasures were, to me, a pretty compelling case for moving to Barcelona.
Spain, Baby Projections
In an oft-used theme, the babies say both “hola” and “ni hao.” If you think the slightly dismembered faces on the projection screens of white tassels are creepy…
Then Look at THIS
Spain’s hyper-realistic megababy is one of the coolest single attractions in any pavilion. Its name is Miguelín, and it was imagined by filmmaker Isabel Coixet and conceived in the USA by the same folks that built monsters for_ Starship Troopers_. In an Expo where babies are used as an almost universal symbol of optimism, goodwill and the future, Spain gets points for blowing that cliché out of the water. And oh, it also moves with bowel-loosening lifelikeness.
Hey, It’s Van Gogh Again
This time in the Dutch pavilion, in a display borrowed from the Van Gogh museum with fragments of the painter’s mugs and ceramics that he painted in still life. If someone had told old Vincent that crumbled pieces of his drinking cup would be viewed and digitally captured by literally millions of Chinese people in Shanghai in 2010, what do you think he would have said?
Van Gogh’s Hair
The same question could of course be asked with presumably more impact for the hair.
Infrastructure, Dramatically Lit
In one of the pavilions expressing the Expo’s general “Better City, Better Life” theme called the “Pavilion of City Being,” we are transported through the infrastructural underbelly of an imaginary city of the future.
Life is Better With 360-Degree Video
Wraparound video screens depict, you guessed it, the passions that fuel the diversity of nations (an Expo ubercliché). Here, a scene from Nairobi depicting “Dance, the pulse of Africa.” Cool screens, though.
Germany’s “Energy Source”
In one of the cheesier bits of staged theatricality, we are led to believe by two hyper-enthusiastic performers that Germany’s otherwise nifty pavilion (named “Balancity”) is powered by a glowing LED-screened disco ball.
German Pavilion Staff Uniform
In the future, we will all have immediate access to holstered beverages in metallic flasks, insulated with advanced polymers.
United Arab Emirates
A giant theater where we were taken on a whirlwind tour of the Emirates’ many wonders by an anime-stylized Emirati boy and girl.
The hollow chamber inside Finland’s faux ice dome, which opens up to the sky.
Finland Photo Booth
This terminal took four photo-booth style photos of you and stuck them up on hundreds of small touchscreens that lined the inner wall of the pavilion. Brought to you by the friendly Finnish folks at Nokia, of course.