Friday, April 8, 2011

Chinese Pavilion

By Kang-Hsin Fan

The 69.9-metre high pavilion, the tallest structure at the Expo, is dubbed "The Oriental Crown" because of its resemblance to an ancient Chinese crown. It was meticulously designed with profound meaning and symbolism. The architectonic feature of the building was inspired by the Chinese roof bracket known as the dougong as well as the Chinese ding vessel. The dougong is a traditional wooden bracket used to support large overhanging eaves, which date back nearly 2,000 years. It symbolizes the unique charm of Chinese architecture and its unity and strength. The ding was a vessel used by Chinese emperors to make offers to the gods. It represents the union between heaven and earth. The Chinese pavilion's four giant columns resemble legs of a ding vessel, while the inverted pyramid body resembles the bowl of a vessel. The rooftop of the building is in the shape of a grid-like pattern reminiscent of Jiugongge when viewed from the air. Jiugongge was the basis of urban planning in ancient China. The exterior is painted in seven subtle shades of Chinese red, symbolizing Chinese culture and good fortune. The different shades combine effectively to illustrate the concept "unity with difference". The overhanging columns of the main Chinese pavilion and exterior of the Chinese joint provincial pavilion are decorated with Diezhuan characters; calligraphic characters used on official seals. The characters for north, south, east and west are engraved on the red Chinese pavilion, while 24 Chinese solar terms are carved into the silver facade of the provincial pavilion.

Retrieved Mar 20, 2011, from

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