New Zealand Pavilion World Expo 2010
Won through a limited design competition, the design of the Pavilion had a challenging ambition and high implicit expectations in that it had to be both a physical representation of New Zealand's culture and identity, but also a symbol of the relationship between the two nations - New Zealand and China.
World Expos are, by definition, busy bustling places. The challenge facing the team of architects, designers and artists involved in developing the NZ Pavilion was to present visitors with a New Zealand experience – natural, informal, yet engaging – in a location far from New Zealand.
The team also recognised the need to avoid any distinction between the spaces themselves and the exhibits within the spaces.
The chosen theme, Cities of Nature: Living between Land and Sky, presents the idea of New Zealand’s urban and rural environment, harmoniously balanced and sustainable.
The pavilion’s design borrows from the Maori creation myth. According to legend, Ranginui, the Sky Father, and Papatuanuku, the Earth Mother, lay together in such a tight embrace that the land remained in darkness. But then their son, Tane, god of forests and people, pushed his parents apart, letting in the light so that all might flourish.
The essential form of the pavilion is a folded black basalt ‘landscape’ beneath a floating white sky canopy.
Each and every detail, from the warmth of the kapahaka, to the materials and the construction methods, was chosen to communicate the essence of New Zealand and New Zealanders.