After more than three years of construction, the World Expo Museum (WEM) will open on May 1, 2017 (the seventh anniversary of the Expo Shanghai 2010 opening). Cooperatively built by Shanghai Municipal Government and the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the WEM is rated as a major cultural facility construction project in the “Twelfth Five-year Plan” of Shanghai. It is also the first new project built in the Culture Exposition Area of the original Shanghai World Expo site.
As the only official museum and documentation center of BIE, the WEM is international, unique, thematic, and sustainable. It is the first truly international museum in China, and the only museum fully demonstrating Expo themes in the world. The WEM will forge itself as an internationalized museum with distinctive characteristics highlighting design and creativity and a center for international academic exchanges which is unique in Shanghai, a pioneer in Asia and well recognized by the world.
The WEM will participate in all upcoming Expos under the guidance and assistance of BIE, serve as an official museum of BIE, inherit the Expo legacy, and achieve sustainable development. As the authorized documentation center of BIE, the WEM will, under the guidance and assistance of BIE, build a professional institute to collect and utilize World Expo-related literature, serve as an authoritative Expo research institute, and share the Expo expert resources and research achievements with BIE. Moreover, with the support of BIE, the WEM will actively set up an online platform for international Expo research scholars and promote the construction of an authoritative and professional training and education center in connection with future Expos.
The WEM takes a land area of 4 hectares and a gross floor area of 46,550 square meters. The architectural design of the WEM is centered on the concepts of “World Expo Memory” and “Urban City Life”. This creates two unique images: “History Valley” that represents history, meditation and perpetuation, and “Cloud of Celebration” that represents future, opening, and tipping points. With approximately 12,000 square meters, eight permanent exhibition halls and three temporary exhibition halls are arranged inside the WEM. Permanent Exhibition Hall 1-4 introduces the historical development of World Expos from 1851 to 2008. Permanent Exhibition Hall 5-7 gives a comprehensive exhibition of the spectacular Expo Shanghai 2010, China. The Permanent Exhibition Hall 8 records the essence of the Expos after 2010.
Thanks to the diverse functions such as the library, special-effects cinema, youth center and multi-function hall, the WEM is a forward-looking new urban public museum. It will integrate with Shanghai city life and international cultural exchange, and give priority to its three attributes of “culture, civic-orientation and exchange platform”.
The WEM will hold an activity titled “The First Look at Expo” on May 1—“the seventh anniversary of the opening of Expo Shanghai”. The staff devoted to the preparation and operation of Expo Shanghai 2010, the residents relocated for the Expo, and the Expo volunteers will be invited to pay the first visit to the WEM.