Shanghai International Expo Center / Shanghai, China/ 1998‑2001
Size: 2,152,780 sq ft / 200,000 sq m
Status: Completed 2001
Collaborators: Werner Sobek; Matthias Schuler
Through an invited competition, Jahn was selected to deliver a new center for exhibitions and conventions in Pudong, Shanghai. The resulting complex, the Shanghai International Expo Center, strikes the observer with the clarity and efficiency of its architectural and structural design concept.
Organized like a town, the halls form a triangular town center, which serves as an open exhibit area. Surrounding this center are covered arcades, which connect the entries with all halls. The repeating structures of the halls form a soft wave, which gives the Shanghai International Expo Center its unique image. The lightweight construction results in large, light-flooded spaces with unobstructed floor areas.
Each exhibition hall covers an area of 192 meters by 80 meters and consists of 16 three-dimensional trussed beams. The entrance hall covers an area of 36 meters by 80 meters and consists of a trio of three-dimensional trussed beams.
The trussed beams, which act as single-bay beams, have a span of 72 meters with short cantilevers at each end. Whereas the overhanging areas of the roof are fitted with metal cladding, the central roof area is covered with a prestressed PVC-coated polyester membrane. This allows soft and diffuse daylight into the exhibition halls. The internal surface of the membrane features a low-e coating, which reduces the transmission of heat into the interior space and improves the energy balance of the halls.
The roof structure is supported by slender, 14-meter-high tubular columns, which free the facade and plan, allowing maximum flexibility. The fully glazed façades flood the expansive interior spaces with natural light and create a striking luminosity at night. The complex offers a modern new home to international exhibitions in Shanghai.