Portugal Pavilion at the Shanghai 2010 Expo, China
All the facades of the building were covered with pure expanded agglomerate. Cork was presented as the best solution and because it is a Portuguese product, a national, recyclable and ecological material. The structure became the showcase of Portugal as a commercial and cultural centre for the world to see, reflecting the concept of sustainability of the buildings of modern cities. “This is an example of innovation and good practice that will help boost the image of Portugal in the largest world exhibition ever held,” read a press release presenting the Pavilion. The work was designed by Carlos Couto, a Portuguese architect living in Macao.
The Portugal Pavilion in Shanghai was a block building with sharp edges and pointy sections, divided into three zones: protocol room, business centre and technical area. The theme was, “Portugal, a square for the world, Portugal, energies for the world.” The building showed to the world the historical relations between Portugal and China and highlighted national advances in renewable energy and the creation of innovative products in environmental and energetic terms.
The material caused sensation and amazement among the many visitors who came to remove pieces surprised with the texture and the aroma of cork expanded at high temperatures. This situation led to dozens of panels needing to be replaced. The Portugal Pavilion was one of the most visited of Expo 2010.