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Dutch Pavilion
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Forget about tulips, wooden shoes, windmills, canals and quintessentially quaint Holland.

The national pavilion of the Netherlands at the World Expo 2010 Shanghai will be built on stilts, with ups and downs, twists and turns - a happy change from regular "straight" urban design.

The Dutch Pavilion design, known as "Happy Street," is about curves and creativity.

"Straight lines are efficient but they are not about the 'happiness' of living in cities," says the Dutch designers in a statement. The 2010 Expo theme is "Better City, Better Life."

Seventeen small elevated houses will line the main pedestrian way that curves in the shape of the number "8," a lucky number in China suggesting fortune.

The houses in different styles will present exhibitions exploring themes such as energy, water, space and many aspects of urban issues.

"Straight lines are somewhat dull and every line resembles each other. It is just 'the shortest' one between two dots," the design statement says.

"But curving lines are different. If you draw a curving line between two dots, every line could be unique."

This is the idea behind the US$29.4-million pavilion. The Netherlands, with 16 million people in 41,000 square kilometers, is organized and efficient - a straight-line nation - but it also is a nation of curves, individuality and creativity.

Don't worry, however, the archetypal windmills and wind power, will be there. And you surely can find organic tulips, traffic-friendly canals, and wooden shoes for the health-conscious.


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