UK pavilion at Shanghai Expo voted best in show
by Annie Byrne
The UK’s Seed Cathedral has won the award for best pavilion at the Shanghai Expo, which closed on Sunday as the largest world fair on record.The pavilion, designed by Thomas Heatherwick and known popularly as the Dandelion is a cubic form of thousands of fibre-optic rods each containing a cluster of seeds. Eight million visitors looked in over the six-month exhibition, including Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao. “The UK pavilion is very creative, thank you for your hard work,” he commented during his visit to attend the official closing ceremony.The UK Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Caroline Spelman MP, formally closed the UK pavilion on Sunday, removing the first of the 60,680 rods of the exhibit, the seed attached will then be presented to a school in China next month.Protecting biodiversity and sustainable development is a key tenet of the UK pavilion’s legacy project, and the main reason for Spelman’s attendance.She added she was “delighted” to be in Shanghai on the day the UK pavilion was awarded the Top Pavilion prize. “The innovative Thomas Heatherwick design, and our use of it as a venue for events promoting the UK, has been an outstanding success in many ways,” Spellman said.“We've highlighted the importance of biodiversity, we've challenged perceptions of Chinese visitors on their ideas about the UK and we've created a legacy that will ensure that our engagement and partnership with China will continue to grow.“This award is testament to everyone who worked on the project, both here and in the UK,” she added.