The British Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo 2010, an event devoted to scientific and cultural exchange, recently opened its doors to curious visitors. Known as the Seed Cathedral, the 20- meter-square structure features 60,000 transparent acrylic rods that extend outward and downward and quiver in a breeze. The end of every rod contains seeds of different plant species from the Kew Millennium Seed Bank. The rods, serving as fiber-optic filaments, bring in daylight to illuminate the interior exhibit space. The unusual pavilion was designed by Heatherwick Studio, based in London. Heatherwick partnered with the Mace Group on the construction.
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.