Taking the “H” spot on the Expo Architects list is the first woman to be awarded the Pritzker Prize, acclaimed Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid.
Renowned for her bold, curvaceous buildings that blend in with the local environment, one of Hadid’s most outstanding creations is the Bridge Pavilion, built for Specialised Expo 2008 Zaragoza.
Serving as the main entrance to the Expo – themed “Water and Sustainable Development” and located across the Ebro River from the city centre – the Bridge Pavilion was conceived as much more than an Expo pavilion; it is also a pedestrian walkway and an integral part of the city’s relationship with the river.
Blurring the lines between art and function, architecture and engineering, Hadid sought inspiration from nature in designing the pavilion. The result can be seen in its fluid forms – resembling the ebbs and flows of the river it crosses – as well as its gladiola blossom-shaped openings.
The 270-metre structure – Hadid’s first bridge and the first enclosed river crossing in Spain - is comprised of intersecting steel pods with a shimmering fibreglass reinforced concrete exterior. Built over two levels, during Expo 2008 the pavilion offered over 3,100m2 of exhibition space dedicated to water governability and water as a basic human right.
Years after the Expo closed, the Bridge Pavilion remains part of Zaragoza’s landscape, and a tribute to Hadid’s vision, flamboyance, and success.
The Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) is the intergovernmental organisation in charge of overseeing and regulating World Expos, Specialised Expos, Horticultural Expos and the Triennale di Milano.