The long term architectural contribution of an Expo to the city in which it took place – its legacy – is of significant interest to residents and visitors to the city. Planning the physical legacy of the Expo as part of the transformation that it brings to the city is a prerequisite to hosting a successful Expo.
Zaragoza’s iconic Bridge Pavilion (Pabellón Puente), designed by Zaha Hadid for Expo 2008, is one such monument that continues to stand to this day. It reopened to the public on 6 May 2016 and will remain open until 6 November. The pedestrian bridge is open from Monday to Sunday from 10am to 2pm and from 5pm to 9pm.
Visitors can access the Bridge Pavilion for free, while there are also free guided tours on Fridays at 10am and 5pm, and on Saturday and Sunday at 10am. Architectural workshops lasting 90 minutes are also taking place on weekends at 11am, offering the chance to learn about the design and construction of structures and the use of different materials.
The 270-metre bridge was a major landmark of Expo 2008 and its main entrance, connecting the Expo site to the neighbourhood of La Almozara across the River Ebro. The design of the bridge was inspired by gladioli and the river it crosses, with its enclosed structure offering visitors an escape from Zaragoza’s summer heat. Often cited as one of Hadid’s best works, and the first bridge she completed, one of its remarkable features is that it merges two distinct functions, serving as a bridge and as an exhibition space. It is made of glass fibre reinforced concrete, and was designed with a variety of openings in its skin in order to convey and direct air to provide ventilation.
During the Expo, which was organised under the theme of water and sustainable development, the Bridge Pavilion hosted an exhibition entitled ‘Water – a unique resource’, featuring 3,100m2 of exhibition space over two walkways.