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July 30, 2009

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Building starts on straw house

CONSTRUCTION began yesterday on property developer Vanke's pavilion for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.

But, rather than showcase its new houses, China's biggest listed real estate developer will urge people with its pavilion to protect nature. And, unlike other Expo pavilions, the Vanke building will gradually decay and lose its glory during the 2010 event.

The facade of the 5,000-square-meter pavilion will be made of wheat straw. The eco-friendly construction material will start out gold in color but will turn yellow and then black by the end of the event.

The color and smell of straw will make people think of nature and the decaying process will show the changes of nature to Expo visitors, said Lu Xiang, the pavilion's chief designer.

The building will comprise seven 18-meter-tall steel structures in the shape of straw piles, which is a common sight in China's farmlands.

The structures will be wrapped in straw and have skylights at the top to allow in the sunshine.

The exhibition will depict a future scenario of humans living harmoniously with nature under the theme "Possibility of Respect."

The pavilion will be called "2049," referring to the centenary of the People's Republic of China.


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