‘Symbol of energy: At the Expo Korea – 12 May to 12 August in Yeosu, South Korea – the corporate pavilion of GS Caltex, a Korean oil corporation established in 1967, illustrates the company’s mission and its visions for the future. Designed by ATELIER BRÜCKNER, it offers visionary spaces that give three-dimensional expression to the idea of energy in harmony with nature.
The pavilion architecture is presented as a dynamic ensemble which, at first glance, is reminiscent of an outsized rice field. Eighteen metres high, so-called blades sway like grass in the wind, whereby their continuous motion symbolises the never-ending flow of energy in nature. When darkness falls, the 380 coloured blades shine brightly into the night. Touching activates individual sensitive blades and initiates pulses that spread out in the shape of waves over the entire ‘energy field’.
Each visitor can individually explore the site, which is around 2,000 square metres in size and contains a centrally located star-shaped pavilion building that is optically withdrawn in its entirety. Its mirrored facades make the energy field appear to stretch into infinity. Via raised corners of the star, the visitor can gain access to the also mirrored entrance area on the ground floor. Prismatic refractions encourage a collective spatial experience of social networking – without any hint of scale whatsoever.
The centre of the pavilion is on the upper floor; a seven-metre-high round room with panoramic projection. Poetic images in a reduced black-and-white aesthetic convey the company’s readiness to assume responsibility with regard to sustainable energy concepts and for a life in harmony with nature. In line with the expo’s slogan ‘Living Ocean and Coast’, the protagonists of the narration are a pearl diver and a whale. They symbolise the connection between marine world and mainland, between nature and human influence. The visitor also becomes involved: in the last chapter of the film, the shadow he/she throws becomes a surface for a back-projection. In this way, the message of sustainability is directly aimed at the individual. The circle of interaction between the recipient and the staged setting closes.
With the expo pavilion, GS Caltex, which covers more than a third of Korean oil requirements, presents itself in an international context. Around eight million visitors are expected at the world exhibition, which offers a forum for more than 100 nations, international organisations and globally active companies.’