So after a general post on the Expo (here) and my post on the pavilion of the United Arab Emirates last week, this week I will talk about another great pavilion: The pavilion of the United Kingdom. It was designed by British artist Wolfgang Buttress. The theme of the pavilion is ‘Grown in Britain & Northern Ireland’. The main feature of the pavilion is the 17 metre high ‘bee hive’ at the back of the pavilion.
When you enter the pavilion you pass a couple of wooden walls with small holes in them. If you look in the holes you see small animations about the issues the UK pavilion is trying to highlight. The main part of the exhibition is about bees and the need for bees for the ecosystem.
This is also why at the end of the pavilion there is a large structure visible which is actually a beehive. More on that later.
Walking towards the ‘beehive’ you pass lovely meadow vegetation, which does actually house a couple of bees and butterflies. It is lovely to walk through and see that this recently planted piece of nature is already attracting bees and butterflies.
There are some small benches along the way, if you want to sit down and enjoy the green.
The most important part of the exhibition is the beehive at the end. It is a metal structure with two levels. At the ground floor there are some lovely people who can explain everything a lot better, so definitely ask them for some explanations. One of the nice people explained us that the beehive is in connection with an actual beehive in the UK. They use technical stuff to measure the bees activity and the lights inside the beehive at the expo show how much activity is happening. This technique can be used to see if a beehive is sick or if something is wrong.
Another thing she explained is that bees communicate with vibrations. To show how this works there are some poles at the ground floor where you can get a plastic stick (like the kind you would use to stir your coffee). You put the stick in-between your teeth, put it against a small metal plate inside and stick your fingers in your ears (to shut out sound). It is bizarre, but it works! You can hear soundbites from the pole and it is the most awesome thing ever. So definitely do that when you are there!
On the second floor there is the restaurant with the ‘traditional’ food and you can access the first floor of the beehive. Beware, there is a transparent floor part, so if you are wearing a skirt you might want to make sure no one is looking up from beneath.
From inside the beehive you can really see all the lights and you are also supposed to feel the vibrations of the beehive in the UK, but I did not really feel that. You can also see the garden bit below.
Overall I really liked the pavilion and the interactive bits. The structure looks amazing, especially at night when the lights are still active and create a sort of glow from the inside. If you are going to the Expo, definitely visit this pavilion and don’t forget to talk to someone from the pavilion to get the most information possible!
I hope you guys like my posts on the Expo, let me know if there is a specific pavilion you would like to know more about. Next week there will be another book review and then I will be back in the Netherlands!