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Architectural studio SOMA has finished the design of the thematic pavilion for the 2012 Yeosu World Expo. The project was selected in late 2009 and is expected to begin construction during the next couple of months.

As a major and permanent facility the thematic pavilion embodies the expo’s theme ‘the living ocean and coast’ in manifold ways. The ocean is experienced in two ways, as an endless surface and in an immersed perspective as depth. The plain duality of the ocean motivates the building’s spatial and organisational concept. Continuous surfaces twist from vertical to horizontal orientation and define all significant interior spaces. The vertical cones induce the visitor to immerse into the thematic exhibition. They evolve into horizontal levels that cover the foyer and become a flexible stage for the best practice area. Continuous transitions between contrasting experiences also form the outer appearance of the pavilion. Towards the sea the conglomeration of solid vertical cones define a new meandering coast line, a soft edge that is in constant negotiation between water and land. Opposite side the pavilion develops out of the ground into an artificial roof landscape with gardens and scenic paths. The topographic lines of the roof turn into lamellas of the kinetic media facade that faces the expo’s entrance and the ‘digital gallery’.

The building will be erected in a former industrial harbour along a new promenade. Bridges will connect the pavilion to the expo site. after the expo and the aspired improvement of water quality the promenade will be transformed into an ‘urban beach’ offering leisure activities to the public. The main entrance is situated on ocean plaza, which is partly covered by the pavilion to achieve a shaded outdoor waiting area. The space boundaries of the open foyer are defined by the twisting surfaces of the cones.Tthe interstitial spaces between them frame the view onto the ocean and create niches for the visitors to take a pause from the exhibition.

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