The theme of the 2010 Shanghai World Expo was ‘Better City – Better Life’ and signifies Shanghai’s new status in the 21st century as the ‘next great world city’. This public space, situated at the end of the main pedestrian axis of the park, accommodated performances and large open-air events during the six month Expo. For festivals, a stage could be erected at the edge of the river with the city as a natural backdrop. Between celebrations, the plaza would undergo a transformation becoming a 4000m² mirror pool reflecting the sky and the architecture of the surrounding site, or a fine carpet of mist due to the hundreds of atomisers covering its surface. In an instant, the pool is revealed or hidden, transformed and then revealed again lending an ephemeral and poetic aspect to the place. Celebration Plaza is a lively, interactive and unique place; a part of the river made accessible to all.
The Expo occupied a 5.28km² site on both sides of the Huangpu River. Celebration Plaza was situated on the water’s edge, at the end of the kilometre-long pedestrian spine, an extension of the main entrance to the Expo site. The plaza, with a capacity of 12000 people, was bordered by a performance centre to the east and a vast garden to the west. Rows of trees were each planted on either side of the plaza to clearly define the space and frame views of the river.
– Contractor: Shanghai Expo Land
– Architect: Arte Charpentier Architectes
– City: Shanghai
– Country: Chine
– Competition winner: 2009
– Delivery: 2010
– Site area: 1.56 hectares