To reflect Netherlands' vision on integrating the human aspect in urban development projects, Happy Street in the Netherlands Pavilion is an open-air explosion of striking and playful elements.
|Happy Street reflects typical Dutch life. [Source: |
China Daily/Gao Erqiang]
Happy Street is a "street" inside the pavilion in the shape of the number eight. It stands out because its open design connects closely to the Dutch identity.
Visitors to the Netherlands Pavilion will get a good sense of the country's successes in dealing with urbanization by touring the 400-meter-long street, which has no gate or single point of entry. Within the streets, 28 small houses hold the pavilion's exhibits.
"After visitors leave the Dutch pavilion they should have the feeling - if all initiatives they have seen and experienced are implemented - that life in the city will become a lot more pleasant," said Walter van Weelden, the commissioner-general of the Netherlands Pavilion.
Visitors to the pavilion can enter Happy Street from wherever they like. This multi-door design is effective and reflects typical Dutch style. When night falls on Happy Street, colorful lighting creates a fantasyland for visitors.
Happy Street's 28 houses feature three sectors of urban life: residence, work and industry, as well as collectively showcasing innovations in energy, water and space.
Instead of arranging these houses in a monotonous straight line, the designers made the smart decision to place these tiny houses on a meandering street and invite visitors to enjoy the exhibitions through the windows.
"Walking along the colorful street, it was like living in a tiny village in the Netherlands that is full of passion and vitality. The pavilion is a miniature of Netherlands that reminds me of the country a lot," said Huang Jiacheng, a visitor from Shenzhen who used to study in Netherlands.
Among displayed items are the personal belongings of Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh and the diamond crown of Princess Maxima - two most precious exhibits in the pavilion and the ones that most catch the attention of visitors.
"I really like the crown of Princess Maxima because we've never seen this kind of priceless royal jewelry in China," said Chen Qian, a local girl.
In an application of low-carbon technology, the pavilion has about 50 sunshades, with hi-tech coating over their fabric, used to gather energy.
"The pavilion is promoting our country's creativity, sustainability and innovation - precisely the areas where the Netherlands is a pioneer. " Weelden said.