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Life is full of harmony: Luxembourg Pavilion architect

05-02-2010 15:17 BJT Special Report: Shanghai World Expo 2010 |

by Xinhua writer Jiang Xufeng

SHANGHAI, May 2 (Xinhua)-- For Francois Valentiny, architect of the Luxembourg Pavilion of the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, harmony is a major source of inspiration.

"Life is filled with harmony. I like harmony in life, in my work, in my architecture, and in the materials I choose," Valentiny told Xinhua in an exclusive interview.

The Luxembourg Pavilion, built from steel, wood and glass, is an open fortress around with plants. The idea "forest and fortress" comes from the literal meaning of the Chinese term for Luxembourg.

The pavilion's 15-meter-high main structure resembles an ancient castle with large openings surrounded by medieval towers.

"I want to create something authentic of Luxembourg culture, so I chose a traditional type of a Luxembourg single-family house for the pavilion outline," he said.

The pavilion boasts a plant flower wall conveying the image of a forest with a tower surrounded by greenery. To the architect, visitors coming to this pavilion can enjoy a mini-Luxembourg.

The "Golden Lady" stature, Luxembourg's national treasure and symbol of the country's independence and civility, stands on top of a 3-meter-tall steel column at the entrance of the pavilion.

Glittering under the blistering sun, the stature constitutes a sharp contrast with the rusty-colored pavilion. "This (the contrast) was a combination of the history and modern elements," Valentiny said.

"For me, Better City and Better Life means a willingness to see and understand different cultures and people from various cultures. That's important," he added.

Occupying just a small area in the Expo site, the Luxembourg Pavilion makes full use of the limited space by integrating wisdom and imagination to demonstrate its them of "Small Is Also Beautiful."

All the building materials of the pavilion are recyclable. By demonstrating the concept of sustainable development, the design represents Luxembourg's reputation as the "Green Heart of Europe", he said.

"The steel is very hard, a big contrast with the flowers, water and vegetation," he said, adding that different elements could be combined together to showcase a spirit of harmony.

The Luxembourg-born architect won the national competition to design the pavilion in August 2007 and started the design since November 2007.

"Luxembourg is beautiful but small, and not so old compared with China. But I love China, the Chinese people, and the food here," he said.

Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: Xinhua

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