CAIP Mapping

CAIP Mapping

Friday, February 13, 2009

Macau Pavilion 2010

This is the new released Macao Pavilion for 2010 Shanghai World EXPO, titled “Moon Rabbit Lantern”, by Carlos Marreiros. The iconic building is to represent the Rabbit year (1999) when Macao was returned to China.


Helder Fraguas said...

Such an original pavilion on a great town, like Macau is.
Helder Fraguas

Gold Coast Hotels said...

The Macau Pavillion, which will look like a rabbit lantern sitting under China's national pavillion is shielded with a double-layer glass membrane and fluorescent screens, while kinetic ballons will form the head and tail of the “rabbit.”Fabulous.

macau pavilion said...

Jade Rabbit= Macao?
The result of “2010 Shanghai World Expo, Macao Pavilion Concept Design Competition” was announced in June, 2009. The “Jade Rabbit” (by Carlos Marreiros), “Dancing Lotus” (by Chio Wai Tong) and “Glitter” (by Carlos Macedo e Couto) are the awarded designs. This surprising outcome has called out for numerous informal critiques. Both viewers with or without an architectural background speak highly negatively about the project. The winning design has been teased as “a joke”, “a funny design”, and even “a disgrace to the Chinese people”. However, for what reasons does this design draw such negative remarks, yet still deserve first place ranking? Let’s launch a formal discourse regarding the three main entry proposals.

The theme of the Macao Pavilion is to demonstrate the social “Spirit of Cultures, Essence of Harmony” inherited from Macao’s tradition of east and west cultural exchanges. The winning designs should be displaying Macao’s image as a city of tourism, entertainment and leisure; along with its cultures, new infrastructure and economic achievements after the Handover. However, the “champion” design fulfills some of the requirements problematically, and ignores the rest. Interestingly enough, the other two designs were not pursued due to “technological difficulties” and “structural complications”. For such reasons, the Office for Preparation of Macao’s Participation in the Shanghai World Expo should be reconsidering their critical reasoning since the nature of installations are to create innovative architecture by challenging technology, solving structural problems, as well as achieving aesthetics and harmony in an experimental sense. Rather than encouraging new building principles, conservative installations do not allow for improvements in architectural development nor have room for experimentations. It is essential to explore the installation process in such opportunities. Nevertheless, the critique can be directed conceptually, spatially and structurally.

macau pavilion said...

The intention of the Jade Rabbit tends to use its “cute” look to attract attentions. Unfortunately, the form of a rabbit has little relations to the representation of Macao- the self-built/ self-rules government and the fame of lotus land. The Carlos Marreiros architects have explained the relationship in between the rabbit lantern and Chinese myth, theoretically. However, such lanterns can be found all over Southern China. Not only does it fail to represent Macao, it loses its unique identity acclaim. Macau has been inheriting over 400 years of Portuguese culture, none of which the Jade Rabbit represents. Moreover, the architecture does not speak for itself. A literal representation with few relations does not explain the tale of rabbit lantern. The rich Chinese culture would not be explored unless one gets a chance to read/ learn about it.
Sadly, many reviews state that the nodding head of the rabbit “scare-off” people already. Through verbal dialect they attempt to incorporate Chinese myth, pertaining to the rabbit, with aspects of the project (naming the south-facing door as “Southern Gate”, and the north-facing door as “Northern gate”). It is said that “the rectangular bunny body puts Macau’s architecture industry into a position of conservative and old-fashioned, meanwhile the nodding head tries to be attractive but it is actually pretty scary.” ( In advertising for the Macao pavilion, children will be distributing rabbit lanterns during the Shanghai World Expo. Thus, Macao people will be celebrating the one-day Mid-Autumn festival from 1st May to 31st October in 2010 in a ridiculous fashion.
On the other hand, “Dancing Lotus” and “Glitter” are both originated by the history of Macao. They both symbolize Macau in an abstract way that the history of Macao is approached non-mythically. The abstract representations of lotus and glitter are mathematically and scientifically expressed through the façades, which have great impact on the interior space.

It is the architects’ job to develop their spatial ideas in order to convey the concepts behind them. Clearly, the Carlos Marreiros architects made very few spatial developments for the interior consists of a rectangular plan with a giant spiral ramp wrapping around a central theater. Also, the head of the rabbit stands at the highest position with the most potential for viewing, yet remains uninhabitable. Such conservative spatial design prohibits the idea behind installation- innovation through study of space and fabrication.
In both cases of the “Dancing Lotus” and “Glitter”, the spatial studies have been shown through diagrams. Especially in the illustrations of “Dancing Lotus”, the playful idea of minimal surface, enclosure and exposure should be encouraged and highly evaluated. The minimal surface study does not only affect the atmosphere of space, it has its architectural intelligence embedded in it. The circulation and surface usage suggest a new way of public gathering – it could happen anywhere, without the necessity of a meeting room nor a theatre center.

macau pavilion said...

Most of Macao’s dynamic cultures were ignored in featuring the theme of the exposition through the “Jade Rabbit”. Marreiros’ design is not related to the culture of Macao, but claims to be technologically integrated. In the description of the project, the idea of green architecture has been mentioned. However, green architecture should be achieved spatially, not technologically. The choices of material and proportion have not been considered thoroughly in the specific temperature and location. Due to the summer’s hot and humid weather conditions, the transparent enclosure admits a great amount of heat into the pavilion relying heavily on air conditioning. The solar panels that collect energy will be mainly serving air-conditioning since natural light is provided through transparency. Due to its conservative structural system, it is unworthy to discuss its assembling method. However, the beauty of installations can only be found through their innovative structural systems and assembling processes.
“Glitter”, despite the fact that it will not be built, it would be interesting to see how the façade: the surface of the oyster, become a structural element and revolve with the interior space. Meanwhile, the “Dancing Lotus” has a high possibility to be built easily since the module (surface unit) is unified and the structural system is figured. The details of its structural component would be a great distribution to the contemporary architecture study.

For the future ahead, it is crucial to encourage more intellectual commentaries in the architecture field, as well as more intellectual designs through discourse. Though the winner of the “2010 Shanghai World Expo, Macao Pavilion Concept Design Competition” has been selected, Macao’s architects strive and compete to explore new boundaries unlike the “champion”. It is important to invigorate architects to continue devoting their creativities and articulations in the architectural field, in Macao. Also, it is vital to have Macao’s government encouraging the study of architecture within the city such as gathering the intelligence of architects for open discourse regarding competitions, projects, as well as the urban development of Macao S.A.R. government.

Cheap International Airlines Airfare Deals said...

Magnificent! Chinese really shows what they have got in order for them to get attention to tourist. Excellent tourist catching idea!