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World Expo 2012 Korea

The Netherlands

Daily life in the Netherlands has always been influenced by the water that constantly surrounds us. Most of our country consists of either lowlands along the sea, or reclaimed land, with one-quarter of the country at or below sea level*.  As a result, the continental Netherlands hold a unique position worldwide when it comes to  landscape and  technical abilities. The historical figure from the Golden Age of Dutch sailor Hendrick Hamel is used to introduce the Korean visitor to our history and the Delta . Offering a bird’s-eye view of our Land of Water.

*The Netherlands, has traditionally implemented comprehensive national spatial policies as exemplified by the creation of polders following the flood of 1916 and the delta plan subsequent to the flood of 1953.

Bird’s Eye view

From the ground it is hard to grasp and appreciate the scale of our Dutch delta. From the sky, on satellite images or looking down onto a detailed map, it becomes clear. For this purpose the map of the Netherlands is central to the pavilion. As soon as the visitor enters the map become surrounded by a big audio/visual experience that will directly take them to the Netherlands.

Then and now

The visitor also gets a tour through the Dutch Golden Age in which the Netherlands became the pinnacle of  worldwide commercial success  The show ends with exhibits focused on Dutch Technology and innovations in the field of international water management projects.

Welcome to Belgium, by the Sea !

In the Belgian pavilion, the visitor is taken to a small carnival, an annual fair at the Belgian coast. Walking along carousels, one is immersed in a rich cultural history, but of course there is also a prominent spot for diamonds and chocolate.


The outside of the pavilion already introduces the carnival theme. Wooden fencing, signs lined with lightbulbs, everything visible is part of the illusion and the theme.


When entering the pavilion, visitors walk along the "ticket booth" and then stands in an area surrounded by a wooden fence. In the far corner it is open, towards the sea; it shows a fantastic panorama of the Belgian coast: dunes and grass waving, beautiful sandy beaches and the tempestuous North Sea is visible. Within the fence one is surrounded by old-fashioned carousels and so called 'pepper-caster' poster cilinders.

The large carousel recounts the history, but also the current culture of Belgium. After a meeting with old masters, famous athletes and fashion designers,  the visitors enjoy the works of Master Chocolatiers at the Chocolate Carousel. Then  the diamonds carousel tells about how the Belgians have become the world's best diamond polishers, culminating in a golden racquet encrusted with hundreds of diamonds.

A visit to the fair is not complete without Belgian Fries, Brussels Waffles, Ice Cream and Chocolate. The visit ends therefore in the carnival themed restaurant and souvenir shop.

This project is the result of a co-operation - initiated by Totems – with Gielissen Interiors & Exhibitions and NoA Architects.


Attachment : Belgian Pavilion , Belgian Pavilion Merry Go Round, Dutch Pavilion, Pre-Show Dutch Pavilion


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