area 110 | expo 2010 shanghai

architect: John Körmeling

location: expo 2010 shanghai - zone C

year: 2010

“Better City, Better Life”, tema dell’Expo 2010, si rispecchia in una strada, una strada che affianca varie tipologie di edificio: un’abitazione, un negozio, una fabbrica, un ufficio, una fattoria, una stazione di servizio, un campo sportivo, un garage, una strada che possa fornire le giuste condizioni per lo sviluppo della vita sociale. L’Expo internazionale rappresenta un centro di svago, divertimento e istruzione, ecco dunque che il padiglione olandese assume le sembianze di montagne russe su cui poter camminare, con gli edifici appesi come mele ad un albero. Ogni costruzione lungo la strada ospita un’invenzione, una scultura o nasconde un segreto in grado di rendere la vita più piacevole; presenta nuove fonti energetiche, modelli innovativi di produzione alimentare e per la purificazione delle acque. L’obiettivo è quello di realizzare un padiglione senza una porta d’entrata, in cui l’interno sia l’esterno.

John Körmeling was born in Amsterdam and graduated from Eindhoven Polytechnic in architecture and urban planning in 1980. Early in his career he became dissatisfied with small-minded systems and the constrictive practices of traditional and much of modern architecture, urban planning and art. His primary focus has been to circumvent systemic limitations and he has struggled to liberate space by creating solutions with a sudden and resonant impact.
Since 1981, Körmeling has designed and/or built an amazing array of objects and ingenious installations with an emphasis on light and lightweight solutions. One of his first recorded projects at De Appel, in 1983, focused on liberating space with light, when he presented an interactive installation, Ontwerpmachine (Designing Machine). By exposing phosphorescent filaments and small Styrofoam balls to three-minute doses of artificial light, he demonstrated how the largely ephemeral materials would reveal, in the alternating periods of darkness, the existing space within a new space of phosphorous green. Another project, at the Apollohuis in Eindhoven, was the sculpture Hangen en staan (Hanging and Standing). For this project, Körmeling shot a beam of light through the building, from the basement to the attic, using a series of holes in the foundation and carefully positioned mirrors to reflect the laser’s beam. His large-scale neon birthday signs on buildings (Kop van Zuid, Rotterdam, 1989), his electric light shining through miniature-scale faux storm clouds onto a sunbather (Gat in de Wolk – Hole in the Cloud, Madurodam, Den Haag, 1989), or his long awaited Theehuis (Tea Shop) in Valkenberg Park, central Breda, 2002 – these and other projects showcase again and again the way he breaks design open, creates space and remarkable flashes of beauty by a process of subtraction and the use of light to engage the viewer.