SCHOTT solutions no. 1/2010 > Interview

Peter Redlin, creative director and Managing Director of Milla & Partner, designed the exhibition in the Pavilion. Photo: SCHOTT/A. Sell

”Idealized Urban Cosmos”

Creative director Peter Redlin from Milla & Partner and architect Lennart Wiechell from Schmidhuber + Kaindl on the German EXPO Pavilion and the unique challenges ”balancity” poses.

Dr. Haike Frank

solutions: What challenges did you face with the EXPO Pavilion?

Wiechell: On the one hand, the size of the project, the number of people involved, and the time-consuming, yet important communication this necessitated. On the other hand, we had to complete the planning and construction work in only two years time.

Redlin: This Pavilion is the largest EXPO contribution that Germany has ever had. The challenges included the huge volume of materials and the creative realization of the EXPO EXPO motto ”Better City, Better Life”.

solutions: How does the German Pavilion express this motto?

Redlin: To start with, we had to think about balance, reconciling between traditional and modern, nature and technology. With ”balancity”, a city in balance, as our theme, we present an idealized urban cosmos.
Lennart Wiechell, architect and ­partner of Schmidhuber + Kaindl, is responsible for the architecture of the Pavilion. Photo: SCHOTT/A. Sell
Wiechell: Milla & Partner came up with the idea for ”balancity”. With respect to the architecture, we took the word ”balance” quite literally and even expressed it in the building structures. If you look at them individually, they appear as if they are about to tip over. Altogether, however, the structures lean on each other and thus create balance.

solutions: How did you integrate the solar façade from SCHOTT into your strategy?

Wiechell: Here, too, technology and nature are in balance. The base of the façade looks like a geological model of the earth’s layers. One of these layers is no longer made of coal, but rather silicon that has been processed into solar cells, the energy source of the future.

solutions: What type of creative concept is the structure of the Pavilion based on?

Redlin: The urban spaces are linked together from both a dramaturgical and content-related point of view like a chain of pearls. They are designed quite differently with respect to the color atmosphere, light ambience and appearance.

solutions: How are products from SCHOTT being put to use?

Redlin: The Tunnel at the beginning of the exhibition consists of a Narima® color glass façade with 9,000 ”LightPoints” integrated into it. Visitors will really enjoy the impressive light shows, images and sound. The exhibition inside the Depot shows high-technology from Germany, including Ceran®, inside 90 boxes. We set the stage for these exhibits by illuminating them with fiber optics and LEDs from SCHOTT.

solutions: What products from SCHOTT on the Pavilion do you find most interesting?

Wiechell: The building-integrated solar ­façade is certainly a highlight. Other exciting products have now been installed in the VIP area. The projection wall in the conference room is made of Opalika® glass that causes hardly any reflections and is perfectly suited for projections. Reflective black glass from SCHOTT is being used in the floor, walls and ceiling of the VIP bathroom to create a unique atmosphere.

solutions: How did you find working with SCHOTT?

Redlin: In SCHOTT, we really found an ideal partner who manufactures innovative materials, comes up with ideas of its own and works meticulously.

Wiechell: We developed a lot of ideas together with SCHOTT and received professional support on topics like fire protection, processing and glass statics.