The best of biomimicry – The "Theme Pavilion"at Expo 2012 in Yeosu, South Korea was designed by Austrian architecture firm Soma to be as low-tech as possible and utilize ideas inspired by the natural world.
Breathing through 'gills' – The kinetic façade is used to shade the exhibits inside and provide a means of ventilation. Up to 80% of the building's energy comes from renewable sources, including roof-top solar panels.
An experiment in low-tech – Built on reclaimed land, the architects were not sure their ideas for the pavilion could be realized on a large scale. They beat off star architects like Zaha Hadid to be a central part of the Expo 2012 with its theme of "the living coast and ocean."
Potential plans – "It's a pilot project, the biomimetic technology really has a lot of potential," says Kristina Schinegger of Soma. "We're trying to have advanced contemporary architecture there, so it's not just the biomimetic façade."
Carbon-neutral Korean Pavilion – The Korean Pavilion uses hydrogen fuel cells, geo-thermal energy and solar to be the Expo's only self-contained, carbon neutral building. It is designed to look like the Korean yin and yang "Taegeuk" symbol of balance. It cost around $19 million to build.
Gaia theory – Architects of the Korea Pavilion said that the building was designed to be a self-regulating system, like the Gaia principle that suggests the Earth is a single complex system based on integrated organisms.
'Big-O' at the Expo – Korean architecture firm Samoo also designed 10 of the Expo's main buildings in Yeosu. The "Big-O" (left) is part of the nightly entertainment display.
Shanghai Expo 2010 – The British Pavilion, known as the "Seed Cathedral," designed by Hetherwick Studio, was one architectural hits of the Expo in Shanghai in 2010.
Gustav's folly – Who can imagine Paris without the Eiffel Tower? Built as the entrance way for the World's Fair of 1889, in its day it was experimental in its design and engineering.
Space Needle – While not as iconic as the Eiffel Tower, Seattle's Space Needle is another lasting architectural legacy of an Expo on a city's skyline. It has now been towering over the city for 50 years.