Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Netherlands Pavilion

The Netherlands pavilion's architecture contrasted strongly with the old-world charm associated with Holland. Located on Île Sainte-Hélène, the pavilion once stood where the Piknic Électronik is held today.

The roof and walls of the pavilion were suspended from an immense space frame that was made up of 35 miles of aluminum tubing and put together like a giant erector set. The result was a striking, futuristic structure, with a light, airy feel.

The pavilion's main focus was on the age-old battle between the Netherlands and the sea: it was the theme for three major exhibits.

The first exhibit was a huge model of the Zeeland Delta project, using 700 gallons of water to demonstrate the hydraulic complex that would provide the Netherlands with greater protection against the sea and increased fresh water supply. The second exhibit demonstrates the importance of the Rhine delta, using film to recreate the sensation of a ship sailing down the busy Rhine. The third exhibit featured a scale model of the Rotterdam, which was, in 1967, the world's busiest port.

Other displays covered topics such as the geography of the country, housing and urban planning (in one of the world's most densely populated areas), communications, culture and scientific achievements. There was a model of Amsterdam made of cork, and visitors could "call" the city's mayor (which was answered by a recorded message).

There was a section devoted to the arts, as well as a restaurant which served Dutch specialties.

photos: (top)
(bottom) FOS productions

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