With the ceremonial cutting of the red ribbon on 1 May the German Pavilion opened its portals to the largest World Exhibition of all time. On opening day alone, 18,000 visitors toured “Balancity“. With the sun shining and a cheerful mood prevailing all over the EXPO Park, guests stood in line for up to three hours for the chance to see balancity. And the wait was well worth it: the pavilion’s successful mix of entertainment and information captivated one and all.
On the first day after opening, Commissioner General Dietmar Schmitz already welcomed a host of high-ranking guests to the German Pavilion. In addition to Lady Catherine Ashton, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union, Sichuan’s Party Secretary Liu Qi-Bao, Düsseldorf’s Lord Mayor Dirk Elbers and the economic ministers of both Luxembourg and Russia, Jeannot Krecké and Viktor Hristenko, also toured the German Pavilion. Lady Ashton displayed a great deal of interest in the various exhibits and commented very positively on the interactive presentation form. She was delighted by the sphere show, said Commissioner General Schmitz, adding: “She really enjoyed her visit.” Ashton herself said she found the German Pavilion extremely impressive and the show at the Energy Source “fantastic”. On the second day of the EXPO, the scheduled guests included the Prince of Saudi Arabia.
Around 120 hostesses assisted visitors to the pavilion in two shifts, explaining exhibits and posing for snapshots with many Chinese visitors. Great enthusiasm was expressed by one and all just walking through balancity and in particular upon witnessing the show at the Energy Source. On the evening of 30 April, the EXPO of superlatives opened with a spectacular ceremony featuring fireworks and water fountains.
The German Pavilion has been christened “balancity” – a newly coined word signifying a city in balance. Visitors to balancity will embark on a journey through a city of ideas, moving around as they would in a real city – on foot, moving walkways and escalators – through thematic areas representing different urban spaces. The journey starts at the Harbour and leads through a Garden and a Park, via a Town Planning Office, past the Depot, the Studio and the City Square to the "Energy Source", the city’s power plant. A city can be a good place to live – if it provides a balance between renewal and preservation, innovation and tradition, urbanity and nature, community and individual development and work and leisure. That’s the message of the German Pavilion.