World Expo 2010: The Ice Cube

World Expo 2010: The Ice Cube

In response to an invitation to join the EU-Belgian pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo 2010, the International Polar Foundation created a giant LED-lit ice cube to draw visitors into the world of Polar Regions, polar science and climate change, as a showcase for Belgium’s involvement in climate-related sciences.

Project goals

The Foundation’s main objective at the Expo was to convey to visitors the importance of Polar Regions and Polar sciences for understanding climate change, and to encourage them to act and move towards “zero emission” lifestyles.

The Ice Cube is a structure representing an iceberg, as two blocks separated by a crevasse.

  • The first block displayed Princess Elisabeth Antarctica polar research station and climate related sciences, a project completed by the Foundation with the support of private sponsors and the Belgian Federal Government.
  • The second block featured the Polaris Climate Change Observatory (PCCO), a permanent venue where the most recent polar research findings can be displayed through innovative and attractive installations, and their global context explained.

Visitors to the exhibition were able to walk across The Crevasse; on one side wall of real ice was created, allowing visitors to relate to the rapid melting of sea ice in the Arctic, or glaciers around the world.

Passive buildings and energy efficiency are at the heart of the Princess Elisabeth Station and were central to the World Expo 2010 main theme: "Better City, Better Life". With more than 50% of mankind living in urbanised environments, our cities must invest into energy-efficient mobility systems and buildings.