The Foreign & Commonwealth Office has selected a shortlist of six consortiums of design teams to create the British Pavilion at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, China.
Zaha Hadid, Thomas Heatherwick and Avery Associates are some of international names to lead integrated teams with architectural, interior design and curatorial capabilities, as part of the Made in Britain competition, organised by project manager Malcolm Reading Associates on behalf of the FCO.
Of the teams on the shortlist, Avery Associates Architects has joined forces with Adams Kara Taylor, Fulcrum and Event Communications, while a second team comprises Draw Architects, Arup, DCM Studio and Graven Images.
Heatherwick Studio, Adams Kara Taylor, Atelier Ten and Casson Mann make up the third team, while John McAslan & Partners, with Arup and Wordsearch make up the fourth. Marks Barfield Architects, along with Price & Myers, Arup and Imagination have also been shortlisted as a fifth team, while Zaha Hadid Architects is working with Arup, Metstudio and the Architectural Association School of Architecture Curatorial Projects. a
MRA founder Malcolm Reading explains that the initial stage involved an overview of each team’s credentials, as well as its anticipated approach to the project. ‘What we don’t want is a scenario where the pavilion ends up like the [Millennium] Dome, so it’s important the project is approached with an integrated team from the beginning. The quality of the entries for the expression of interest stage was overwhelming. Not only had the teams thought of how of they would work together, but some of the proposals were beautifully bound and presented,’ says Reading.
The brief set by the British Council and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office uses the theme ‘Better City, Better Life’ to encourage the teams to explore ways to present a new experience and understanding of the UK to the 50 000 visitors that are expected to pass daily through the pavilion.
Reading reveals that the next stage of the competition is the development of themes, concepts and ideas, around a message of sustainability, with team representatives being taken to Shanghai for preparatory research. The resulting work will show at the Victoria & Albert Museum from late July, and one final group will then be chosen to create the pavilion. The five unsuccessful groups will receive honorary payments for their efforts.
‘This is a unique project in that the pavilion will be one of the top ten in the world,’ says Reading. ‘We’re looking for that sort of level of design. The expo itself will be attended by millions, so the winner of the competition can expect to be part of the best of British design.’
Although the initial response to the competition was stronger from engineering groups, final applications from designers and architects amounted to 47 in total (DW 8 March).