GS Caltex Pavilion

Symbol of energy: At the Expo Korea – held from May 12 to August 12, 2012, in Yeosu, South Korea – the corporate pavilion of GS Caltex, a Korean oil corporation established in 1967, illustrated the company’s mission and its visions for the future. Designed by ATELIER BRÜCKNER, it offered visionary spaces that give three-dimensional expression to the idea of energy in harmony with nature.

The pavilion architecture was presented as a dynamic ensemble which, at first glance, was reminiscent of an outsized rice field. Eighteen meters high, so-called blades swayed like grass in the wind, whereby their continuous motion symbolized the never-ending flow of energy in nature. When darkness falls, the 380 colored blades shone brightly into the night. Touching activated individual sensitive blades and initiated pulses that spread out in the shape of waves over the entire ‘energy field’.


All visitors could individually explore the site, which was around 2,000 sq. m. in size and contained a centrally located star-shaped pavilion building that was optically withdrawn in its entirety. Its mirrored facades made the energy field appear as though stretching into infinity. Via raised corners of the star, visitors could gain access to the also mirrored entrance area on the ground floor. Prismatic refractions encouraged a collective spatial experience of social networking without any hint of scale whatsoever.

The center of the pavilion was on the upper floor; a seven-meter high round room with panoramic projection. Poetic images in a reduced black-and-white aesthetic conveyed the company’s readiness to assume responsibility with regard to sustainable energy concepts and for a life in harmony with nature. In line with the expo’s slogan ‘Living Ocean and Coast’, the protagonists of the narration were a pearl diver and a whale. They symbolized the connection between the marine world and the mainland, between nature and human influence. The visitor also became involved: in the last scene in the film, the shadow he/she threw became a surface for a back-projection. In this way, the message of sustainability was directly aimed at the individual. The circle of interaction between the recipient and the staged setting closed.


The GS Caltex was one of the most attractive places at Expo 2012, which offered a forum for more than 100 nations, international organizations and globally active companies. Around eight million people visited the world exhibition; approximately 400,000 people entered the GS Caltex Pavilion.


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