Nordic Pavilion EXPO 2025 Osaka

This design for the Scandinavian pavilion shows how a special microclimate can be created with sustainable and innovative technology. An example of human ingenuity and an ode to natural phenomena. An ice landscape formed by using sound waves to convert the heat of the sun into ice. Indeed, with sound.

Frozen by the sun
With temperatures outside up to 32 degrees Celsius, the Scandinavian pavilion is the most refreshing location at the Osaka World Exhibition. Solar Evacuator Tubes on the roof are filled with oil, which is heated by the radiant power of the sun to a maximum of 300° Celsius. This heat is used to cool bio-glycol to far below freezing point using thermo-acoustic technology.

This system supplies the ice floor, constructed using a standard modular ice floor system. Due to natural phenomena such as temperature differences, humidity and condensation, the ice floor presents itself as a technology-driven landscape, where texture, relief and gloss level vary depending on local weather conditions

The ice landscape will need to be cooled the most during the day, which fits well with the maximum heat that the sun generates during the day. The semi-open structure of the roof panels acts as passive sun protection, softly illuminating the exhibition hall and blocking incoming heat. And even when it is cloudy, the system works due to the ever-present UV radiation.

Cultural connection
The facade of the Scandinavian pavilion forms a transparent curtain, made of indigo-dyed braided natural fibers. Referring to the ancient entrances of Japanese public buildings, it provides pleasant natural ventilation while blocking direct sunlight.

To create the geometric pattern, beautiful but simple knots are used, reminiscent of Scandinavian seafaring traditions and Japanese crafts such as Kumihimo. The ropes are braided together to form different patterns. The motif is an abstraction of two geometries: the typical Scandinavian quilt and an ice crystal.

The bottom of the curtain is lifted, allowing visitors to glimpse the ice landscape and be drawn to enter this alienating world.

Human ingenuity
The sustainable installations that create the microclimate in the Scandinavian pavilion are an integral part of the architecture. Tanks, containers, cylinders and pipes create a theatrical representation of the circular sustainable system and do not make the technology an abstraction, but show an impressive example of human ingenuity.

The system therefore becomes part of the exhibition. Visitors feel with all their senses the balance between the roof where the sun’s warmth is harvested, the ice landscape under their feet, the ingenious innovations and the Scandinavian horizons and sun cycles in between.

The interior facades are activated using mirror foil and projection cloth, creating an infinite space and a range of atmospheres. An alienating exchange of time, temperature and place.

  • commission: Nordic Pavilion EXPO 2025 Osaka
  • location: Osaka, Japan
  • in commission of: The Nordic Cooperation
  • project management: Bluedot
  • contractor: Nishio
  • timber construction: ATA
  • interior and exhibition: Nomura
  • local architect: Yasui
  • art direction scenography: Ilkka Halso
  • specialized advisors and suppliers: Sound Energy, Ice World, Sweco
  • with the assistance of: Karen Glandrup, Richard Walet
  • invited competition, awarded with second place