Gallery: Inside the Pavilions of Expo 2010

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:

Expo Axis

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.John Mahoney


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.John Mahoney


Traditional folk papercraft, an excellent economy and massively projected hot babes are general themes throughout.John Mahoney

Belgium's Brain

The connected passages inside the Belgian pavilion are modeled after a brain's neurons.John Mahoney

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.John Mahoney


Algae bubbles in a bioreactor in Belgium's pavilion, which also represents the European Union as a whole.John Mahoney

Saudi Arabia

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.John Mahoney

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.John Mahoney

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.John Mahoney

Poland's Restaurant

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.John Mahoney

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.John Mahoney

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…John Mahoney

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.John Mahoney

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?John Mahoney

Van Gogh's Hair

The same question could of course be asked with presumably more impact for the hair.John Mahoney

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.John Mahoney

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.John Mahoney

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.John Mahoney

German Pavilion Staff Uniform

In the future, we will all have immediate access to holstered beverages in metallic flasks, insulated with advanced polymers.John Mahoney

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.John Mahoney


The hollow chamber inside Finland's faux ice dome, which opens up to the sky.John Mahoney

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.John Mahoney