The World Expo Museum in Shanghai is the only official museum and documentation centre in the world entirely dedicated to Expos and authorised by the BIE. Dedicated to the history of Expos since the Great Exhibition in London in 1851, the World Expo Museum is the result of a cooperation agreement between the BIE and the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government.

Location 818 Mengzi Road, Shanghai 200023, China
Opening 1 May 2017
Size 46, 550 m2
Access Shanghai Metro Line 13 – World Expo Museum
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The World Expo Museum showcases the history, creation and themes of International Expos (World Expos, Specialised Expos, Horticultural Expos and the Triennale di Milano). It also highlights their historical impact, their physical significance and their dreams for the future, with the purpose of “inheriting the Expo legacy and retaining the essence and continuation of the World Expo effect.”

The Museum is located on the former site of Expo 2010 in Shanghai, on the north bank of the Huangpu River.

The Museum includes:

  • Eight Permanent Exhibition Halls
  • Three Temporary Exhibition Halls
  • A Documentation & Research Centre
  • A Collection Warehouse


A window of and to the world

International Expos represent and reflect the modern phase of human civilisation, gathering and presenting the world’s latest achievements in technology, culture and art. Expos are not only the collector and displayer of achievements, but also the carrier and promoter of human civilisation.

By its essence, the World Expo Museum inherits the universal values and characteristics of Expos:


As with Expos, the World Expo Museum strives to educate the public, in China and abroad. In addition to the learning value of the exhibitions, this objective will be achieved by establishing partnerships with education departments and agencies, by supporting cultural development initiatives, and by hosting a range of educative events including after-school events, lectures, exhibitions, and exchanges.


The Museum offers a thematic and chronological journey through time and space, tracing the history of civilisation from the mid-19th century to the present and beyond. The Documentation and Research Centre is tasked with the continual study of Expos, past and present.


The exhibitions and research work of the Museum serves as a source of creative ideas and innovations. As the only dedicated museum and documentation centre outside of the BIE headquarters, the World Expo Museum is an authoritative institution for Expo research.


As a continuation of World Expos, the Museum is more than a simple collection of artefacts: it offers a diverse programme showcasing the values of Expos in an engaging, interactive and multifaceted way. The exhibitions and activities organised by the World Expo Museum covers a wide range of internationally relevant topics including innovation and technology, trade and diplomacy, as well as architecture, art and urban planning.


"City in Celebration"

The World Expo Museum is housed in a 46,000 m2 site located on the former area of Expo 2010 in Shanghai, on the north bank of the Huangpu River. Nine international firms submitted bids for the building’s design in 2012, with the winner being the “City in Celebration” project by East China Architectural Design & Research Institute.

The building has been designed to link the past with the future, tracing the history of Expos from 1851 to the present and looking ahead to the world of tomorrow. In terms of its urban integration, the World Expo Museum has been conceived to be part of Shanghai’s city life, encouraging interactive participation and international exchanges.

The Museum has been designed with energy efficiency in mind, receiving the highest rating for green buildings in China (National Three Star Certificate Label). Almost 12,000 tonnes of recyclable materials were used in its construction. The building integrates solar power technology for some of its energy needs, and features a rainwater recycling system.

Architectural Concept

The design of the World Expo Museum reflects the plethora of special moments that each Expo since 1851 has brought to the world. The Museum thus serves as an “era container”, physically embodying the innovations, accomplishments and ideas of past Expos to illustrate the progress of human civilisation.

The upper part of the building and the entrance hall are formed by the “Celebration Cloud”, which represents the present and future, bringing transparency and openness through its 4,000 glass panes.

The Celebration Cloud sits above and envelops the “History Valley” which forms the main building and symbolises history and eternity.