The Australian Pavilion, 2005 World Expo

(The Australian Pavilion, 2005 World Expo)

Aichi, Japan

Completion Date

Commonwealth Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

AUD $12million

Gross Internal Area
1,100 m2


Architect and Interior Design

Facade Design
Geoff Nees and studio505

Exhibition and Production Designers
Think!OTS Exhibition Designers


studio505 were the architects for the Australian Pavilion at The World Exposition 2005 in Aichi, Japan. In collaboration with exhibition designers Think!OTS, studio505 utilised the theme of the Exposition – Natures Wisdom and the three subthemes – Natures Matrix, The Art of Life, and the Development of Eco-Communities – and created a show in three acts, representing the past, the present and the future. The pavilion housed a sequence of exhibition and gallery spaces, the public show and retail, food and beverage areas on the ground floor. The VIP Trade Floor, The DFAT and Commissioner General Offices, Meeting rooms, function spaces and bathroom facilities are located on a mezzanine. The Australian Pavilion was awarded the Silver Medal at the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) awards.

(Facade Development)

Early facade experiments using cut and folded paper to produce patterns and geometries.

(Facade Development)

Process work for the facade pattern. Exploration of natural geometries, Fibonacci sequences and golden ratios among others.


The intriguing facade surface is created from stainless steel clad polycarbonate composite panels with intricate laser cut patterns and shapes.

The facade was designed by studio505 in collaboration with the Australian Artist Geoff Nees. It is an entertaining and magical addition to the building shell provided by the Expo Authority. The intriguing surface is created from stainless steel clad polycarbonate composite panels with intricate laser cut patterns and shapes, subsequently folded outwards to create a three dimensional effect. Concentric flower shapes are made up from a series of petals that were physically peeled out by hand, each varying in size.

Smaller laser cut stars form a cluster reminiscent of the Milky Way. These incisions catch the sunlight during the daytime reflecting it playfully in the forecourt. Computer controlled bud lights are fitted into the polycarbonate panels at the location of the starbursts and constellation stars, lighting the façade from behind in the evening.


studio505 delivered the interior design, as well as the designs for furniture and joinery units. The driving theme was to create in a very tight space the sense of space and openness found in Australia, by using flowing lines and surfaces of continuity. The textiles and wallpaper prints used in the interior are based on Florence Broadhurst designs. All timbers and veneers used are sourced from native Australian species.

(Act Two)

Act Two inside the Pavilion, is defined by the data forest of plasma screen clad totems surrounded by a ten metre high curved wall, creating a sixteen metre diameter cylinder. The wall is clad in highly expressive three dimensional glass reinforced concrete panels, creating a continuous surface of interweaving horizontal surfaces. A perfectly flat black barrisol ceiling above the forest and a highly polished black granite floor surrounding the totems, create the impression of an infinite vertical stream of information. A timber floor arranged in the geometry of a spider web draws visitors into the vertical stream of information.