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Exhibits archive

Austrian Pavilion 2010 World Exposition

Company: SPAN Architects

Industry: Architecture, Engineering & Construction

Ancient inspiration produces a futuristic feel

A biomorphic form covered with a shimmering skin of porcelain is how the Austrian Pavilion at the 2010 World Exposition in Shanghai has been described. And after seeing it, one can imagine why.

Conceptual design

Using a single intelligent 3D building model, the SPAN team embedded complex geometric and mathematical systems found in nature directly into the design to increase the efficiency of the form. The conceptual design capabilities of Maya software enabled the rapid exploration of a variety of organic forms and complex geometries, upon which the ultimate design was based.

A single digital model

Using a single digital model, structural engineers were able to explore, develop, and study several design alternatives, translating the design’s organic inspiration into the pavilion’s underlying structure.

Performance analysis

Sustainable design analysis software was used extensively for a wide range of simulation and building energy analysis, optimizing the environmental performance of the pavilion before it was built. Using whole-building energy analysis created with Ecotet, SPAN was able to calculate the pavilion’s total energy usage and carbon emissions on an annual, monthly, daily, and hourly basis.


Visualizations based on intelligent 3D models as part of the Building Information Modeling (BIM) process enabled the team to see how the Austrian Pavilion would fit within the context of the larger expo.