SHANGHAI.- Feel the Harmony this is the theme for the presentation of the Austrian pavilion on the occasion of the EXPO in Shanghai. The construction with its distinctively flowing surface creates the impression of a seamless surface; there are, however, used 60 million joints for providing for a uniform distribution of the tension forces. The entire outward facade is covered by a glimmering porcelain coat consisting of 10 million Chinese tiles, fading from red into white.
A curved ramp leads the visitors into the interior of the construction, and from there onto a tour visiting the highlights of Austria: from beautiful landscape scenes on to the cultural heritage as well as rather impressive economic and technological performances and achievements. The visitors are presented a rather diverse selection of sensuous impressions combining virtuality and reality in a unique kind of experience. High-resolution panoramas and imageries of real landscape spots are projected onto all walls, floors and ceiling. The entire interior of the pavilion is equipped with infrared and laser sensors as well as cameras recognising any movement performed. In this way, films will pop up on the walls presenting stories and facts on the nature and economy of Austria. Up in the high mountains, there is realised an especially haptic experience: the visitors may actually touch snow, and they may throw snowballs onto a screen, in this way interfering with the results of a downhill skiing race.
In addition, there is introduced the audio aspect further supporting the visual experience by means of music and sounds. Directed by a videojockey, the Austrian Areas of Experience will be heard as acoustic impressions; furthermore, live musicians will permanently perform parts of a piece of music exclusively commissioned for the exhibition. The rather diverse musical tradition of Austria is in this way linked to new elements such as the electronic music. Moreover, there will be realised a concert series with performances of numerous Austrian ensembles pertaining to the fields of classic, pop and folk music.
Four Sensuous Areas of Experience: Mountains, Forest, Water and the City
The tour through the pavilion will guide the visitor through four areas of experience, this is mountains, forest, water, and the city. Upon entering the pavilion, the visitors will find themselves situated in the high mountain area of the Alps accompanied by cold winter temperatures. At the walls, panorama imageries will create different experiences at the mountain top, depending on the time of day: from the dawning of the day to the bright and lucent snow world at night.
Subsequently, the visitors will be guided into a fresh forest landscape. They stroll on a smooth bed made of moss and leaves. Depending on the season of the year, they leave behind a characteristic trace consisting of flowers, mushrooms or ice-crystals. At the walls, breathtaking sceneries of Austrian forests are dominating the atmosphere.
When these walls are touched, they open up to a second level: with information on forestry as well as the habitat forest. Afterwards the visitors take a stroll in the area of experience "water", wandering on a riverbed and at a lake, fish accompanying them. The water is displayed either in its clear or in its frozen form, again depending on the season of the year. Here there may also be retrieved information at the walls.
Eventually, the visitors reach the last area of experience, the city. This final focal point is especially associated with the EXPO sub theme chosen by Austria, this is "Interaction between rural and urban habitats". Here Vienna stands for a city of diversity - a modern skyline is met by wine yards nearly extending into the city centre. Vienna may be experienced as a tourist attraction with its extraordinary historical highlights, as an economic centre, as a place of special culinary hospitality and as a hometown with a high quality of living.
Experience the Highlights of the Pavilion with your own Computer
Altogether, there will be realised, by means of more than 70 beamers, projections onto 900 m2 of exhibition area, with 33 servers guaranteeing an optimum co-operation and interaction of the entire technical equipment. "The multimedia performance and the projections do not aim at a synthetic computer look but rather at a more or less real experience of Austria with its multiple facettes: a country with rather unique natural beauty, a standard and quality of living second to none, as well as extraordinary economic performances and achievements", explains Mag. Birgit Murr, project manager and deputy commissioner general.
It is, however, also possible to explore and discover the interactive experience world of Austria while sitting at home: The Austrian Experiencing Pavillon is the virtual counterpart to the real pavilion in Shanghai. The flash animation in the web may be accessed via www.expoaustria.at/virtuellerpavillon. All highlights of the Austrian performance and presentation may be discovered there, the visitors may even meet Mozart and Empress Sissi.