Architecture practice Bjarke Ingels Group’s (BIG) ambitious Danish Pavilion has opened to the public at Shanghai’s World EXPO 2010.

Great danes

The Pavilion, which recreates some of Copenhagen’s most famous attractions, gives visitors the opportunity to experience a taste of Danish city life, such as a city bike ride, a harbour bath and even the chance to see the real Little Mermaid statue from Copenhagen harbour.

The loan of the Little Mermaid –one of Hans Christian Andersen’s most popular creations and affectionately known as An Tung Shung in China – is likely to be seen as a gesture of cultural affinity between Denmark and China.

Designed as a traffic loop, created by the motion of city bikes and pedestrians tied in a knot, the Pavilion can be experienced at two speeds – as a calm stroll with time to absorb the surroundings or as a dynamic bicycle trip, where the city and city life rush past.

Founder of BIG Bjarke Ingels said: “If sustainable designs are to become competitive it cannot be for purely moral or political reasons – they have to be more desirable than the non-sustainable alternative. With the Danish Pavilion we have attempted to consolidate a handful of real experiences of how a sustainable city – such as Copenhagen – can in fact increase the quality of life.”

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