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September 26, 2009

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UK Pavilion boasts seeds of future

THE United Kingdom released the final design details of its futuristic Expo pavilion structure yesterday.

The Seed Cathedral is the centerpiece of the UK Pavilion. The 20-meter-high cube-like structure will be pierced by 60,000 slim, transparent acrylic rods, extending outward and quivering in the breeze.

During the day each rod will draw on the sun to light up the interior while at night, lights inside each rod will illuminate the structure.

Visitors to the cathedral will discover each of the rods contains seeds, symbolizing the UK's contribution to the Expo theme of "Better City, Better Life."

Thomas Heatherwick, the pavilion designer, arrived in Shanghai yesterday, unveiled the design and talked about his inspiration.

"The Seed Cathedral captures everything that represents UK innovation, creativity, advanced technology, partnerships -- and nature," Heatherwick said.

The seeds come from all over the world, with many varieties from China, and were collected by the UK Millennium Seed Bank Project, according to Heatherwick.

"Seeds in the rods are just like dinosaurs trapped in amber," he said. "We can protect the future of mankind and the environment by harnessing the power of nature through seeds."

The area around the cathedral is designed to look like wrapping paper, signifying a gift of friendship to China.

"The UK at Expo is about showcasing the strength of the UK-China partnership," said UK Deputy Commissioner General Carma Elliot. "It's important to continue our collaboration on vital global topics such as biodiversity and climate change."

The UK Pavilion Website is imminent.


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