An emotional journey from the highest mountains through forests and across grassland to lakes and waters, finally reaching the city.
In the Austrian pavilion themed "Austria – Feel the harmony" the visitor is sent on a journey through the most varied nature and the urban cultural landscape of Austria. At the same time, the tour through the pavilion reflects the examination of the EXPO sub-theme "Interaction between urban and rural habitats".
"Servus" and "Hello" in Austria!
Already queuing in the waiting and entrance area turns into an extraordinary experience for the visitors: by means of mobile bluetooth technology, Austria will welcome its visitors already before they enter the pavilion through visual and sound experiences characteristic of Austria.
Express Train from Shanghai to Vienna
In the entrance area, a kind of "geographical orientation guide" is presented to the visitor: In the transition area to the interior of the pavilion, the visitor will "be virtually beamed from Shanghai to Austria". In order to underline the features and characteristics the two countries have in common, the Huang-Pu Bridge turns into the Viennese Reichsbrücke, the Shanghai Government Building into the Viennese city hall, the Pearl Tower into the Big Wheel, and the Chinese parks transcend into Austrian landscapes.
On Top of the highest Mountains with Snow and Ice
The visitor reaches the first stage across a mountain pass-like ascent: the mountain area with snow and ice covered surfaces.
The temperature is close to the freezing point, and you can feel the cold and touch real snow. The virtual change between day and night offers the visitor a starry sky or a fantastic view you may only come across in the mountains. Acoustic elements such as crunching snow, soughing wind or breaking ice amplify the experience of high mountains and glaciers in the same way as the noise caused by a skier, a snow crawler, or an avalanche thundering down the hill.
The tour then continues from the mountain area down in the direction of the city, with the visitor initially descending down to the timberline where he consequently strolls through the Austrian woods.
A Walk through the Woods
The wood space reflects the importance of the forest as a local recreation area as well as space for dynamic leisure activities for the city dwellers.
Here, the clear air and atmosphere of the woods may be really tasted: It smells like coniferous trees, leaves, berries, and mushrooms. The play of light and shade on the forest ground is boosted by means of acoustic elements like the rustling of leaves and the chirping of birds. When the visitor strolls through the forest, a curious virtual squirrel will sniff at his feet, and he will watch a shy deer fleeing the intruder when he approaches.
Water in all its Forms and Shapes
The visitor wanders across woody hills along the path of the water which is acoustically and optically outlined: from the thundering glacier water fall down to the murmuring mountain rivulet, from the smooth river Inn via the slowly floating river Danube to the calm and relaxed waves of the Austrian lakes.
When the visitor of the pavilion crosses a riverbed, he will even encounter local fish and animals living in the last and only European jungle, the Donauauen.
"Classics" of Culture and Economy
Alongside the entire path leading from the mountain into the city, the hiker is brought into contact with typical Austrian "classics" of culture and economy by means of an animated wall installation. The visitor gets to know Austria as the craddle of European trade, dominated for a long time by ore, salt and silver mining. Austria presents itself as a highly developed and modern small nation with innovative enterprises globally producing over-the-top performances. The visitor is presented, graphically and lively, the association of future-oriented developments in the field of automotives, aircraft, environmental technologies and research.
Arriving in the City
Leaving nature behind, the visitor enters the city positioned behind a smooth curve. The rural area smoothly and immediately fades into the city. The urban population benefits from this harmonious interaction between urban and rural area: alpine drinking water from the Schneeberg, recreation in the Vienna Woods, sunbathing on the banks of the river Danube. As soon as the tourist finally reaches the centre of Vienna, he will not be surprised to find what he has expected to find on the basis of his image of Austria: familiar sounds - music from Mozart to Strauß - welcomes him, but at the same time he will be amazed by the unexpected, by simple ruptures.
State-of-the-art urbanity is signalled by means of sounds and images: traffic moves to the rhythm of the Waltz, building cranes dance to the music of Mozart, peasants stroll along to the tunes of Falco. These images are completed by the thematic integration of topics contributing to a "better city": environmental technologies, alternative energies, and mobility in urban areas.
At the same time this space serves as a platform for Austria: Austrian culture is represented and displayed on a stage integrated in this space. Anything is possible: the visitors may watch performances pertaining to the most diverse kinds of art and culture, from the typical folk dances to the avantgarde fashion show, from the classic concerts to international VJ nights! "Vienna is different", as already stated in the famous advertising slogan for Vienna.
Before leaving: EXPO-Shop and Info Counter
Before leaving Austria, souvenirs for family and friends can be purchased in the EXPO shop, and an interactive map provides more information about Austria as a future holiday destination. Every visitor will take home, as a kind of farewell present, a virtual exit stamp in the form of Austria links on his handy.