Shanghai Surprise

Chinese pavilion - He Jingtang Unlike most expo buildings, the 200-foot-high "Oriental Crown" is a permanent structure: it will be converted into a history and culture museum when the fair closes.

British pavilion

British pavilion - Heatherwick Studio "The world's largest ever hairy building," in the words of designer Thomas Heatherwick.

China State Shipbuilding Corp. pavilion One of many examples of historic reuse at the Expo, a monumental shipyard building became this corporate pavilion, filled with high-tech displays on the history of ocean voyaging.

Shanghai World Expo Cultural Center - Shanghai Xian Dai Architectural Design Group The Expo's saucerlike, 18,000-seat performance arts center will become a sports and entertainment venue after the fair closes.

Danish pavilion - BIG Bjarke Ingels and colleagues convey the Danes' athleticism—and sentimentality—with a velodrome that circles Copenhagen's Little Mermaid statue, imported for the occasion.

Shanghai 2010 Boulevard - SBA Design Created in collaboration with engineers Knippers Helbig, what is touted as the world's largest membrane roof—supported by six massive funnels—forms the main entrance area and boulevard of the Expo.

French pavilion - Jacques Ferrier Architects Sheathed in a delicate concrete trellis, France's entry encloses a large courtyard with "growing walls" and is topped by a green roof.

German pavilion - Schmidhuber Kaindl Named "Balancity," this mesh-wrapped sculptural pavilion is intended to represent "a city in balance," in keeping with the Expo's urban theme.

Dutch pavilion - John Körmeling The Netherlands' kitschy pavilion, called "Happy Street," is an elevated figure eight with more than 20 small houses. One loop of the figure eight encircles a yellow building in the shape of a tulip.

Irish pavilion - Office of Public Works—Architectural Services That's right: Ireland's translucent, U-shaped pavilion was designed by the architectural arm of that country's Office of Public Works.

Russian pavilion - P.A.P.ER The studio P.A.P.ER beat out 22 competitors with a scheme of 12 irregularly shaped white towers, perforated with folk-art motifs.

Spanish pavilion - EMBT Dubbed "The Basket" by visitors, its skeletal steel structure is wrapped with more than 8,000 unique wicker panels handmade by Chinese craftsmen. The lobby is dominated by Miguel’n, a 21-foot-tall animatronic baby.

Swiss pavilion - Buchner Bründler Architects In this pavilion, meant to represent Switzerland's urban-rural dichotomy, a spiraling chairlift takes visitors from the hardscaped ground plane to the "mountains" of an undulating green roof.

U.S. pavilion - Clive Grout Architect The map in the lobby of the pavilion (which was designed by a Canadian firm) identifies only three U.S. states—Texas, Tennessee, and Hawaii—because only those three gave money. Dismaying.

Serbia pavilion - Natalija Miodragovic and Darko KovacevThe pavilion's ingenious facade system employs snap-together modules reminiscent of Legos.

Thai pavilion Thailand's red and gold pavilion draws heavily on the country's architectural traditions. Most countries opted for more contemporary pavilion designs.

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