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The Warsaw Voice » Business » April 30, 2010
Polish Pavilion a Huge Success
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Polish Pavilion a Huge Success
April 30, 2010   
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The Polish pavilion at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, inspired by traditional folk paper cut-outs, has generated much interest. Along with four other national pavilions, the design, the brainchild of a group of young architects from Warsaw, is being used by the World Expo organizers to promote the Shanghai event as a whole.

The design of the Polish pavilion was chosen as the winner of a competition launched in late 2007. It is the work of three young architects from the Warsaw-based WWA Architects studio - Wojciech Kakowski, Marcin Mostafa and Natalia Paszkowska. The pavilion has a rectangular 20 x 50 m base, with walls facade made of plywood. At night, it will be illuminated from the inside, which will make the building stand out among other exhibition buildings. The main finishing material is wood.

The design employs a traditional folk motif combined with a modern look. The Polish pavilion is an attractive, eye-catching structure, both day and night. It has many slanted planes, reminiscent of a folded piece of paper, giving rise to an interesting geometry of interior space. The facade, built of waterproof, laser-cut plywood, has the natural color of wood. The choice of materials and structure type are intended to ensure that the building can be re-assembled elsewhere after the exhibition.

During Expo 2010, the Polish pavilion will promote the Polish economy, culture, science and tourism. The interior was designed by outstanding opera stage designer Boris Kudlicka in collaboration with Paszkowska and Mostafa, and aims to offer visitors an exciting interactive experience. The interior focuses on several themes and refers to the process of migration from rural areas to bustling cities, an experience shared by both Poles and the Chinese. It is an elaboration on the Shanghai Expo motto, "Better city, better life."

The pavilion's interior refers to its facade and focuses on common features of the Polish and Chinese nations. It presents Poland as the heart of Europe, a hotbed of design and style, a country of open and friendly people. It refers to the spirit of entrepreneurship, which links Poles and the Chinese, and which has made Poland one of the fastest developing countries in Europe.

In this way, organizers say, Poland is presented as a country of people with a positive attitude who have persisted in difficult times and have built a better life in Polish cities, combining respect for the past and tradition with bold solutions to the challenges of the present and future. In its pavilion, Poland has taken up the subject of the intertwining of cultures in the city and of the interaction of rural and urban areas. Poland's main message at the Expo, "People create the city," aims to emphasize that it is people - energetic, enterprising and creative - that are Poland's biggest resource.

One area of the pavilion will house exhibitions about Polish culture, contemporary life and history. This section will employ no multimedia, only traditional artistic media. A exhibition focusing on Polish design will also be held there.

Other areas of the Polish pavilion will offer multimedia shows. One of these, an animated tale about the history of the Polish state, is the work of Tomasz Bagiński, whose animated short film Cathedral won an Academy Award nomination. He created a film for the Expo in consultation with renowned Polish historian Prof. Henryk Samsonowicz. Another film, a documentary by Mirosław Chojecki, is entitled China Saves Poland and presents some unknown facts from Poland's contemporary recent history. Meanwhile, Andrzej Fidyk's film entitled Polish Migrations - Polish Dreams tells of fulfilled dreams and of the road to a better life - in this case, migration from the village to the city. It features renowned show business personalities telling their stories on different screens.

The pavilion's business section features decorations referring to the interior of a metro train, with moving scenery outside the window. Visitors will be able to see materials promoting the Polish economy on the screens.

The pavilion will promote Polish regions and will host seminars, displays and roundtables on various topics, such as "business incubators" and the food industry.
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