[part 3] Shanghai World Expo / 上海世博会

The abandoned site of the Shanghai World Expo 2010 is always a very exciting place to visit. You can read my first report here and my second report here. Several weeks ago, I spent another great moment in another part of the Shanghai World Expo, on the opposite side of the Huangpu river. Even if some of the pavilions like the Pavilion of China, have been re-used, and even if the pedestrian pathway has been opened to the public (unfortunately in a giant mall but it’s still better than nothing…), large parts of the former Expo site were still disused.

Large empty spaces, Shanghai World Expo, Feb 2017

However, there was more potential for a second life of buildings with the great example of the free World Expo park, which had a lot of visitors.

An interesting re-use of space : the World Expo Park

I felt that this public space created in this part of the World Expo site was quite a success, and should be a source of inspiration to imagine more projects for the other disused areas. The combination of ecological concerns and of re-use of the former buildings worked well. It just seemed that the Expo stage was not often used for performances, and thus remained with a forbidden access, which was a bit of a pity as the architecture of the industrial building was quite beautiful, especially from upstairs.

Former industrial building reconverted into a stage, Shanghai World Expo, Feb 2017
Blue and yellow reflections, Shanghai World Expo, Feb 2017

Even if this park gave some perspectives for the creation of public spaces, I also have to raise an issue. It was quite disappointing to realize that some very useful equipments of the 2010 World Expo did not remain active, such as the pedestrian section of the big bridge and the ferry boat station, which were all cancelled, leaving citizens without the possibility to cross the Huangpu River (other river crossing facilities being 3 km away).

Abandoned ferry line on the Huangpu River, Shanghai World Expo, Feb 2017

More disused pavilions

But next to the World Expo Park, the area of the pavilions of Romania, Russia, Lituania, and Croatia was also left in decay.

Abandoned Romanian Pavilion, Shanghai World Expo, Feb 2017
Broken glass, Shanghai World Expo, Feb 2017
Sunset light in the pavilion, Shanghai World Expo, Feb 2017
Abandoned restaurant of the Romanian Pavilion, Shanghai World Expo, Feb 2017
Abandoned stage, Shanghai World Expo, Feb 2017
Rusty stairs, Shanghai World Expo, Feb 2017
Abandoned Croatian Pavilion, Shanghai World Expo, Feb 2017
Abandoned Russian Pavilion, Shanghai World Expo, Feb 2017

The pavilion of Lituania was already being demolished…

Strange leisure facilities around… also abandoned!

In the end, around that area, there were also many leisure activities such as this place for « war simulation games », but nobody seemed to use it any longer, so this plane was standing alone in the sunset…

Abandoned plane, Shanghai World Expo, Feb 2017

5 thoughts on “[part 3] Shanghai World Expo / 上海世博会

  1. Hey Jude,

    I really enjoy your articles. I recently went and checked out the abandoned expo myself. It was incredible! By the way, there’s a hatch beneath the airplane where you can climb up into the belly and then the passenger area. It’s super cool. They removed all of the seats. However, you can open one of the doors and go on to the wing! You should go check it out yourself!

    1. oops I didn’t notice the staircase next to the airplane door in the photo. It was removed when I got there.

    2. Hello Justin, Thank you for the nice comments. I am happy to know you enjoyed discovering the World Expo site in Shanghai. I unfortunately don’t live there any longer but I am glad to see that other people are inspired to go and see how the place is changing (or not). You’ll see more reports about Hong Kong in the coming weeks, since it’s were I live now. I wish you amazing explorations for 2018! Best, Jude

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