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Swatch -

Swatch at the Exhibition Expo Lisbon 1998
© Gaël Limpalaër ( http://vestiges-expositions.fr.gd/ )
Architect(s) : Pfau architecture et Eyecandy

The modern, innovative and fun style of the pavilion is based on the same concept as that used for the Swatch watches. The architects have taken advantage of the sloping terrain and designed the pavilion as an adventure/discovery with all that this implies: astonishment, surprise, questioning... a form of initiation.

The pavilion is designed so that visitors move along ramps in an open space to begin with, then narrows and finally opens up into the central room. The roof is a transparent ellipse with a transparent semi-cylindrical tower running through it.

At the end of the pavilion is a 15 metre high "Oval Chimney" which crosses the roof and contains the sales areas and a lounge. This structure consists of a steel frame covered with corrugated aluminium and fibreglass sheets. On the ground floor is the Swatch Collector Club and the presentation of the various Swatch products. The first level houses a VIP area with a toilet, small kitchen and bar. This level of the "Cheminée" is open via windows and offers a view of the exhibition. Finally, the upper level contains the mechanical equipment.

The visitor enters this pavilion via a ramp that follows the contours of the pavilion, these ramps are lined with translucent plastic walls that display the Swatch monster collection. Visitors then pass under sprayers with or without umbrellas depending on whether they want to get wet or not, and then arrive at a sort of labyrinth and finally at the central room.

This pavilion, by its architecture, colours... forms an organic figure that changes as you move around the building.

The pavilion was designed to be a place of recreation, fun and change of scenery compared to the other buildings in the exhibition, and its rounded shape and bright colours set it apart from the other pavilions, which are mainly orthogonal and monochromatic, as well as its concept based on discovery and fun, which contrasts with the classicism of the other pavilions.