Shanghai World Expo 2010

Lighting up the world’s largest universal exposition

Citelum’s signature artistic lighting contributed to making the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China, an event that highlighted the city’s revitalization. Our lighting design for the China Pavilion successfully reflected China’s heritage and leadership in energy efficiency.

2010 saw China’s economic capital return to the forefront of the international stage with the World Expo 2010. The theme of this major global event, which took place from May 1 to October 31, was “Better city, better life,” a nod to Shanghai’s 21st-century image as a city offering economic, cultural, and environmental strengths. Some 73 million people representing 246 different countries, regions, and international organizations visited the Expo and a revitalized Shanghai. Our artistic lighting was featured on the Bund Promenade, in Shiliupu, at the Performing Arts Center, and, last but not least, at the China Pavilion.

A special aura

Our high-definition lighting displays in Beijing, Kunming, and Shanghai had already earned recognition across China, so it was only natural that we were asked to illuminate the 70-meter (229 feet) tall, 160,000 m2 Pavilion. The structure, designed by architect He Jingtang, skillfully balances traditional Chinese architecture—timber frame construction, hand-hewn granite steps, and abundant use of red and Chinese calligraphy—with more contemporary touches like large open spaces between the structural pillars and the use of advanced technology in the insulation and lighting.

The artistic lighting we designed form the pavilion has four modes: “Classic,” which softly illuminates the interior; “Celebration,” where light gradually ascends up the pillars to create a kind of crown with seven different shades of red (a symbol of happiness), the main color of the building; “Special holiday,” where a flood of light shines up from the interior courtyard symbolizing the union of earth and sky; and “Nighttime,” where the focus is on Chinese culture as the light shows off the Pavilion’s corbels and calligraphy designs.

Spotlight on energy efficiency

Our high-quality services also include energy-efficient engineering, and the China Pavilion was no exception. We kept its electricity needs low (100 kWh during full operation) by using a combination of LED, metal halide, and sodium lights, a solution also chosen for other sites.

Our lighting work at the China Pavilion and the Performing Arts Center won an award from the Shanghai lighting association.

Shanghai, China

  • 20 million inhabitants
  • 3,183 floodlights
  • Project type: artistic lighting for the China Pavilion at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai
  • Date: 2010
  • Project length: 1 year