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The Facade of the Swiss Pavilion at the Expo 2010

The Swiss pavilion at the Expo 2010 in Shanghai was covered by a semi-transparent facade that used cutting-edge solar technology to produce energy that was released in LED flashes, thus making solar rays visible as a creative force. The numbers and constellations of flashing LEDs and the length of time for which they emit light varied according to the intensity and angle of the incoming light: the LEDs flashed singly, casted coloured shadows on the wall behind and moved in swarms or other formations across the facade. After the end of the exhibition, the cells were recycled and distributed mainly in China, but also worldwide. Today, they are continuing their communicative role in households of previous visitors of the Swiss pavilion.

An Innovative and Sustainable Switzerland

Due to the exceptional design and reactivity of the facade, Switzerland hoped to be seen as an innovative, technologically progressive and ecologically conscious country. When visitors approached and entered the pavilion, Switzerland's vision of the city of the future became clear: a hybrid, networked place in which nature and technology, innovation and sustainability interacts.

10,000 interactive LED cells

The facade, suspended from a height of 20 meters, consisted of a coarsely meshed wire-curtain on which 10,000 cells were fixed at irregular intervals. Each cell contained a circuit board, the shape of which resembled the map of Switzerland, and electronic components that assured the facade's interactivity: solar cells, two double-layered capacitors (especially powerful energy storage), one LED (Light Emitting Diode) and sensors that reacted to light and nearby cells.

The cells were designed by iart in collaboration with Bucher Bründler Architekten, the technology was developed and implemented by iart together with tegoro solutions (since 2013 part of iart).

Exhibition Site

Expo 2010 Shanghai

Project Phases

Conception, Planning and Realisation

Project Duration

2 years

Opening

1 May 2010

Exhibition Duration

6 months