Vega Méndez-Navia
PhD Architect, Higher Technical School of Architecture of Madrid (ETSAM), Spain

The concept of the ephemeral has been changing throughout history. It is associated with the brief, the fleeting, the passing or the momentary. The opposite of permanent. But, is it really so? Already in pre-Socratic Greece the relationship between the ephemeral and the permanent was analysed by philosophers. Heraclitus of Ephesus held that opposites are not opposites, but form a harmonic unit, constantly changing. One exists as a consequence of the other. They need each other in order to exist. What persists through change is change itself. “All things flow, everything is in motion and nothing lasts forever. Therefore, we cannot descend twice into the same river, for when I descend into the river a second time, neither the river nor I are the same.”1

Based on the philosophical principles of Heraclitus, Hegel, in the 19th century, deals in his dialectics with the relationship between opposites by declaring that each of the opposites “appears in the other and is only in so far as the other is also.”2 According to the German philosopher, the ephemeral would only exist as a contrast to the permanent, and both generate a higher reality.

For his part, Nietzsche traces what appears in the ephemeral again and again, a concept, an element, something that, although it can disappear with the ephemeral, is reborn every time a new ephemeral is shown, which is not gone because it is present in the thought of him who realises the ephemeral; it is the "eternal return of the same" [der ewigen Wiederkehr des Gleichen]3 by Nietzsche.

As for the beauty and value of transience, Sigmund Freud, in 1915, reflected on it while walking with the Czech poet Rainer Maria Rilke. Against the common thought, Freud did not believe that something by being transient, loses its beauty, its value, its symbolism; indeed he affirmed the opposite: that the transient increases its value the less time it lasts. Thus, the value of beauty is independent of the duration of time.

If we delve into the world of architecture, already in ancient times, there were constructions destined for temporary use. In the third century BC, the Greek writer Athenaeus of Naucratis described in his Deipnosophistae4 (the feast of scholars) the pavilion that Pharaoh Ptolemy II of Egypt had built for a banquet. In the Baroque period, ephemeral architecture had its first golden age, with the search for the surprising, the exuberant, typical of this style. And with the Industrial Revolution came the second golden age of ephemeral architecture in the form of the Expo pavilions that we know today. This notably started with the Crystal Palace by Joseph Paxton, built in cast iron and steel as the venue for the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations of 1851, the first World Expo.

"Certain Expo pavilions presented as ephemeral structures remain alive in the architecture of today"

In this article we will see how certain Expo pavilions, which even before being conceived in the mind of their creator were in most cases presented as ephemeral structures to disappear after fulfilling their temporary mission, have become over time architectural references or even landmarks in the history of architecture. These examples – those which remained, which were rebuilt elsewhere, or which disappeared altogether – are still alive in the architecture of today and continue their essentially pedagogical mission.

The perception of what a pavilion means has varied over time. An exhibition pavilion has traditionally been understood as a frame for exhibits. More recently it was conceived as a “manifesto of modern ideals (this is the case of Le Corbusier with the L'Esprit Nouveau Pavilion for the International Exhibition of Decorative Arts in Paris, or Melnikov, who was awarded the Grand Prize of the International Exhibition of Decorative Arts and Modern Industries in Paris in 1925) or also as a piece of value in itself (Mies van Der Rohe with his German Pavilion in Barcelona 1929”.5

Or, pavilions can be seen as magic boxes, boîtes à miracles,6 the architectural spectacle of synthesis of the arts, a place where the indeterminate can happen. Le Corbusier passes in the post-war period, to a mode of reconstruction - the magic box - “that points to the collective, the recovery of the symbol, the possibility of architecture to embody cathartic values of community, in front of the individualistic or typified order of the inter-war – purism -, which pursued the reconstruction of the broken and destroyed individual by the traumatic First World War through order, metrics and sensory rigor and normative subject.”7

Also, pavilions can be seen as a means to "build dreams", transforming the space, freeing it from the accessory and building from an idea that contributes in some way to our happiness. Alberto Campo Baeza clearly explains in his book dedicated to a future student of architecture this concept, how the architect is "a dreamer, an artist, a technician, a CREATOR",8 and using a fragment of the poem "Auguries of Innocence" of William Blake:9

“This poem by the poet William Blake, which I repeat every year to my students at the beginning of the course, could well summarise what some do through Architecture: build dreams. I think that’s what everyone who wants to be an architect should try. Dream and make people dream. To erect buildings that, in addition to perfectly fulfilling the functions for which they are built, and being well built, and being very beautiful, are capable of making men dream.”

Pavilions as parts that make up a whole, but also the World Expos as such, are also considered as consumer products, parallel realities, representing selective parts of the world beyond their fenced enclosure, almost always with the aim of explaining or entertaining. In his ‘Theory of Expositions’, Umberto Eco points out the role that modern architecture played in World Expos: “In an exposition, architecture proves to be message first, then utility; meaning first, then stimulus. To conclude: In an exposition we show not the objects but the exposition itself.”10

Eco appeals here to the semiotics,12 analysing the way in which "an exhibition exposes itself", affirming that, from time to time, the exhibition is modified according to the evolution (or complexity?) of language and humanity. Taking Expo 1967 Montreal as an example, Eco says: “Countries no longer say, ‘Look what I produce,’ but ‘Look how intelligently I present what I produce’…”13

So, each country shows in a distinctive and characteristic way, the same product or idea that another country could present. The country that best sells what it does wins the highest recognition, regardless of what it actually does. An Expo can thus be considered as an exercise in communication.

In the same way, the fate of pavilions is varied. Some have become non-existent in a strict physical sense, whether for being demolished or for their intentional and constructive reason being significantly altered over time. Nevertheless, all of the pavilions from 20th century continue to be, for the architecture of this 21st century, “authentic unfinished lights of suggestion and reason [....] examples that would continue not only to be active in their capacity of suggestion and stimulation but would allow to strengthen an understanding of the active architecture, propositional, as a mechanism of transformation and improvement of living in its integrity.”14

Expo pavilions are usually classified as ephemeral architecture, but it should be pointed out that with time being the fourth dimension of space, all construction has its time and its period of extinction, whether indefinite or not. Modernity exalted the ephemeral in its expression of technical and social changes and made Expo pavilions laboratories and manifestos of a changing world, using its bare life to celebrate change, and its provisional forms for exploring these new territories.15 As Baudelaire already anticipated in the mid-19th century, “Modernity is the fugitive, the transient, the contingent, the half of art, whose other half is the eternal and the immutable”.16

Baudelaire breaks with the conception of art of his time, which hailed the artistic values of the past, and elevates the ephemeral to a category of beauty.

"All construction has its time and its period of extinction, whether indefinite or not"

Many of the mythical works of the 20th century stood only for a few months, in ephemeral scenarios, modifying the course of architecture with a few images. This led to questioning whether the circumstances under which they did not survive or survived in unusual circumstances were due not so much to their ephemeral condition, in the voluntarist sense that Cedric Price applies to the ephemeral, but to their experimental character. At the end of the 1950s, Price questioned permanence as an architectural value, understanding architecture as a reversible process, of limited time, that does not condition the life of the users in the future. Employing time as another tool of work, a finite and short time, the building or structure must be able to face the challenges of its finitude, what he calls "calculated uncertainty", where dismantling and reuse are as important as assembly and construction, as well as the variability and reversibility of processes.

The uncertainty principle (or indeterminacy relation), enunciated in 1927 by Heisenberg, introduces the time vector and the postulates of relativity passing from the predictable, casual and determined to the only probable, casual and "indeterminate". Japanese Metabolists Kenzo Tange and Arata Isozaki among others, influenced by Cedric Price, would introduce the "indeterminacy" associated with the large scale at World Expo 1970 in Osaka.

The apparent contradiction between permanence and ephemerality lost strength in the second half of the 20th century. Although this was paradoxically considered a time of great development for the enduring, the ephemeral qualities that took place - revealed with such clarity and imagination through multiple projects and temporal architectural experiments - had an important value for the buildings and structures designed for the most durable sites and situations. In some cases, the ephemeral and experimental even became permanent, maintaining their avant-garde character even today. Pavilions that unite avant-garde and future, but also history and tradition, thus became landmarks of architecture.

Does the reconstruction or physical permanence of pavilions favour their status as landmarks? Does it harm them? Is their disappearance preferable, serving as evidence (although questionable, as we have just explained) of their ephemeral character? Or is it simply inconsequential?

Certain World Expos were such platforms that their pavilions, landmarks with which a significant part of the history of contemporary architecture has been built, became mythical, because of their distance in time, because they no longer exist and because sometimes, we are only left with an outdated and limited imagery. But how have they become references of the history of architecture?

Were such pavilions produced because their authors were already recognised architects or on the contrary was it through these pavilions that their authors became consecrated? Have they prevailed in history because of their architectural qualities or rather as containers of what they exhibited? Were they valued from the moment they materialised, or did their recognition grow over time?

We will analyse some pavilions – including some that remain and others that do not - determining what circumstances have made them worthy of their place in history.

"There is no history of architecture that fails to mention the Crystal Palace"

We could not start without talking about Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace. There is no history of architecture that fails to mention the Crystal Palace. It was built for the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations, the first World Expo held in London, in 1851. Until then, only national or regional fairs had been held. In view of the speed and magnitude with which technological innovations were being produced, it was decided to hold an international meeting to show them to the public. It was then decided to build a temporary structure in Hyde Park of enormous dimensions, to house, in different stands, countries and companies that had something to show.

One of the main features of 19th century Expos was to showcase the great advances made during the Industrial Revolution, and Paxton’s structure was avant-garde in its use of cast iron and glass. Although there were already buildings made of iron, such as greenhouses, it was a turning point in architecture, being the first large-scale application of prefabricated iron pieces. There was no building in the world with so many windows: its entire enclosure was transparent. The experience caused a sensation among visitors to the Expo: a gigantic building - the largest in the world at that time - with overwhelming natural light that flooded the entire space, featuring large trees indoors and able to house almost a hundred thousand people at one time under its glazed roof.

In a 2015 interview, Sir Norman Foster chose the Crystal Palace as his all-time favourite building: "I was once told a story about a challenge. A group of builders were asked to build a million square metre structure in less than a year. It happened at the end of the 20th century and those men concluded that it was impossible". Norman Foster explains that it was then that they were told that the same challenge had been accepted by Joseph Paxton in 1850, and that the Crystal Palace was built a year later. Paxton solved the challenge by creating a new revolutionary, modular construction system, achieving "a transparent and lightweight construction, easy to assemble and economical". For Norman Foster it is "an infinite source of inspiration, as his architecture celebrated confidence in the future. His idealistic spirit pushed the boundaries of design and engineering. It was an ephemeral but extraordinary feat, beautiful, light and luminous. An example to learn from."17

The building remained in Hyde Park, the location of the Expo, until its dismantling and transfer to another area of London in 1854. The building was then destroyed by a fire in 1936.

"The Eiffel Tower was to be dismantled, but Eiffel managed to keep it standing by presenting it not only as a scientific project, but also as a laboratory"

In following Expos, many pavilions were made from iron and glass, following the Paxton model. In particular, iron construction reached its peak in 1889 with the Eiffel Tower for Expo 1889 Paris, which was held to commemorate the centenary of the French Revolution. Although usually attributed to Gustave Eiffel, the project also featured engineers Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier, and later architect Stephen Sauvestre, who worked on the aesthetic aspect of the tower. Standing 312 metres high, it was the tallest construction in the world for 42 years, until in 1931 when the 381-metre Empire State Building was erected. Today the Eiffel Tower reaches 324 metres thanks to the antennas that were added in 1957 and 2000.

The construction was to be dismantled in 1900, but Eiffel managed to keep it standing by presenting it not only as a scientific project, but also as a laboratory, as a space to carry out various experiments.

There is no need to justify its status as a landmark today. The Eiffel Tower overcame criticism from renowned figures in the world of literature and arts, a protest by artists in Paris, and the publication in the newspaper Le Temps of the "Artists against the Eiffel Tower", signed among others by people of great importance such as Charles Gounod, Guy de Maupassant, the son of Alexandre Dumas, François Coppée, Leconte de Lisle, Sully Prudhomme, William Bouguereau, Ernest Meissonier, Victorien Sardou or Charles Garnier. They wrote: “A dizzyingly ridiculous tower overlooking Paris, as well as a gigantic black factory chimney, crushing with its barbarian mass Notre-Dame, the Sainte-Chapelle, the Saint-Jacques tower, the Louvre, the Invalides dome, the Arc de Triomphe, all our humiliated monuments, all our smaller architectures, which will disappear in this stunning dream”.18 For Paul Verlaine, the tower would create a “belfry skeleton",19 for Guy de Maupassant a “tall and thin pyramid of iron scales, unsightly and giant skeleton”.20

Despite the discord and initial criticism, the Eiffel Tower, "the beautiful lace giraffe”21 (as described by Jean Cocteau), is not only the emblem of Paris, it is the symbol of France. Ironies of fate.

The Eiffel Tower, as well as the Atomium of Expo 1958 Brussels, have become landmarks of Paris and Brussels respectively, unconsciously related to their cities, and even today they have the ability to amaze us. This was stated by The Guardian in 2008: “Half a century on, this memento of an optimistic era dreaming of technological progress still has the power to astound”22, and by The New York Times in 2013: “The Eiffel Tower and the Atomium in Brussels are other legacies of the World Expos that have showcased technology, architecture and culture every five years since London’s inaugural Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations in 1851.”23

The Atomium, located in the very centre of the Expo site, designed by architects Jean and André Polak and engineer André Waterkeyn, represents an iron crystal atom magnified 160 billion times and aims to show the peaceful potential and benefits that nuclear energy and science in general have for humanity.

At first, it was conceived as an ephemeral construction that would remain only for the six months that the Expo would last. It quickly became a tourist attraction and its demolition was delayed until eventually being cancelled.

The symbolic significance of Expo 1958 can be seen in the long history of World Expos, forged in the 19th century, linked to the industrial and scientific transformations resulting from the Industrial Revolution. Expo 1958 Brussels, the first World Expo of its category after the Second World War, focused more on the human being, on the road to a new humanism on a global scale,24 with the theme of “A World View: A New Humanism”.

Paradoxically, in the face of this worldwide humanism that was being promulgated, the still existing colonialism was very present. This was especially the case for the host country, which still maintained the Belgian Congo under its domination (which would only last until 1960, the year in which it achieved its independence), with critics finding that it was rapidly approaching the programme of a fair or circus. They wondered about the past role of the World Expos, highlighting the contrast between the demonstration of power, wealth and technological advances that the main metropolises showed and the exemplary tutelage that they claimed to exercise in their colonies. These attitudes were to be seen as colonialist and even "grotesque" – with the Congolese being outraged at Expo 1958 three months after its inauguration, as some visitors threw chocolates and peanuts at them.

In the context of Cold War, Expo 1958 conveyed a form of pacifism, manifested in the appearance for the first time of a new section dedicated to the newly created international organisations of the post-war period (UN, OECD, ECSC, Benelux etc.).

At the next World Expo, held in Seattle in 1962, once more a structure built for the Expo became a lasting symbol of the city. Edward E. Carlson came up with the idea for the Space Needle, an observation tower with the particularity that the upper core, 42 metres in diameter at its widest point, simulated a flying saucer, responding to the theme of the Expo, "Man in Space Age".

Other Expo pavilions have become references for architecture. They are the work of renowned architects who are still present in the architectural discourses because of the footprint they left.

“I will not make a pavilion; I will make an electronic poem with the bottle that will contain it. The bottle will be the pavilion, and there will be no façade to this pavilion.”25 This was how Le Corbusier advanced the pavilion that would represent the Dutch electronics company Philips at Expo 1958 Brussels.

Already in 1953, in El Modulor, Le Corbusier affirmed "music is time and space, like architecture. Music and architecture depend on measurement."26

Le Corbusier was as concerned about what would happen inside as he was about the design of the pavilion. He was looking for the total artwork. In fact, he actively participated in the creation of the show that would take place permanently in the pavilion. It was a show of sound, light, colour, rhythm, images, in which, as a magazine of the time said, “the architecture was function”. It was Le poème électronique: an eight-minute film composed of a series of fixed photographs, highlighted by colour changes, projected on the interior curved surfaces of the pavilion, with sound by composer Edgard Varèse.

"The Philips’ Pavilion is an example of a pavilion that, although having been demolished after the Expo, is still present today"

At this time, Le Corbusier was busy in Chandigarh, so the development of the envelope was left in the hands of the engineer and composer Iannis Xenakis, who developed it from a sketch of the architect. The result was a tent erected on a plant as a ‘stomach’, with three points or vertices, and all covered with a ‘concrete sheath’ composed of twelve hyperbolic paraboloids. This form was chosen to ensure certain acoustic and lighting conditions, such as the reverberation time, which needed to be short, or the need to avoid double echoes. “The pavilion is an exercise of dematerialisation of limits and distortion of the distances of perception.”27

The pavilion was conceived as a fusion of architecture, music, engineering and visual arts, achieving such a show that today still constitutes a historical reference point in multimedia production, as well as for architects who seek to combine architecture and music. It is an example of a pavilion that, although having been demolished after the Expo, is still present today.

This is the case of the Austrian architecture studio Coop Himme(l)blau, which for the design of Pavilion 21 MINI Opera Space in 2010, a detachable pavilion for experimental performances of the Bavarian State Opera, took Le Corbusier’s pavilion as a reference. The architects pointed out: “The idea to combine architecture with music is not new. Also, the term sound scaping is not new. Similar to landscaping it involves ‘Gestalt’. Sound scaping originates in the 1940s and designates a method of composing. In architecture, Le Corbusier and Iannis Xenakis together engaged in the topic of music and architecture when they thought about three-dimensional implementation of musical compositions (Le Corbusier’s Philips Pavilion and the partition of the windows in La Tourette)”.28 The Austrian studio designed elements that spatially transform sound sequences, while absorbing sound through their pyramid shape, creating a soundscape, a technique already used by Le Corbusier and Iannis Xenakis in the Philips Pavilion.

Two pavilions at Expo 1967 Montreal that left their mark on later works are the pavilion of Germany by Frei Otto and Rolf Gutbrod, as well as the pavilion of the United States by Richard Buckminster Fuller. Both pavilions nevertheless had opposite ends: the first one was dismantled in 1972, the second remains as an environment museum, even surviving a fire in 1976.

Both pavilions used to be treated together, especially in journals, given the many aspects common to them. The two stood out for providing new proposals and solutions to problems related to the environment, or for “suggesting new architectural and urban design techniques”, in the words of Kenzo Tange, which could lead to future applications on a larger scale, both being spatial structures forming part of the ‘technological utopia’, according to Zevi. Both had future applications on higher scales; coming to join alpine valleys, in the case of Otto, or to create microcosms with internal structures of autonomous functioning in matters of environmental control, in the case of Fuller.

"Germany’s pavilion at Expo 1967 Montreal is an exemplary icon of the architecture of lightweight structures and tensioned textile membranes"

The two architects belong to a group of precursors of the so-called ‘poetics of the great dimensions’, of the megastructures, according to De Fusco, and who developed in these pavilions their greatest works so far, as a culmination of years of continuous research in the respective fields of light tensioned structures of geodesic domes.
Another common aspect pointed out most often by magazines, was the emphasis on the independence and freedom of the space covered by these structures, as well as on the dimensions of these spaces and the economy of the constructive means.

The structures created by Frei Otto refer us to nature, covered in capricious and light shapes that suggest delicate organic figures. The architect wanted architecture and nature to be understood symbiotically and symbolically. A constant researcher of building architecture, the Montreal ‘tent’, a large steel mesh suspended by a network of tensioned cables crowned by translucent polyester membranes, was an experiment that would culminate in 1972 (curiously the same year of the demolition of the pavilion), with the construction of the roof of the Olympic Stadium in Munich.

This is an exemplary icon of the architecture of lightweight structures and tensioned textile membranes, which sums up Otto’s ideology: minimum materials, maximum performance, organic forms of nature, the temporary becoming permanent, sustainability getting close to people, and the economy of constructive means. Germany’s pavilion at Expo 1967 Montreal undoubtedly contributed to the international recognition of the architect, who received the Pritzker Prize in 2015. Shigeru Ban, Pritzker Prize laureate in 2014 and a deep admirer of Otto, said: “I think that Frei Otto was an architect who kept asking the "air" what it wanted to become. He kept thinking about how to envelop ‘air’ or ‘space’ with the minimum material and power'.29 Richard Rogers, Pritzker Prize laureate in 2007, considered Frei Otto “one of the great architects and engineers of the 20th Century and his work has inspired and influenced modern architecture, as we all learn to do more with less, and to trade monumental structures for economy, light and air”.30 Proof of this inspiration and influence could be reflected in Richard Rogers' own Millennium Dome in Greenwich, London (2000).

For Richard Buckminster Fuller too, architecture had to be in close contact with humanity and nature, stating: “You don’t belong to yourself. You belong in the universe”. He sought to bring the greatest benefit to humanity through his architecture, exploring the principles of energy efficiency, structural integrity, modularity and materials. In this sense, in 1959 he presented at the MoMA in New York a project of a geodesic dome to cover part of Manhattan, with the aim of regulating the climatic conditions and saving a lot of energy.

Although often credited with creating the geodesic dome, it was actually the German engineer Walther Bauersfeld who built the first one in 1922. Fuller developed the Bauersfeld concept for years and gained international recognition in the 1950s, culminating with the United States pavilion at Expo 1967 Montreal, which he designed with architect Shoji Sadao. A huge steel structure with cylindrical cells more than seventy-five metres in diameter and sixty-three metres in height, today known as the Montreal Biosphere. Fuller, who endorsed Mies' maxim of ‘Less is More’, worked on the most efficient construction possible of three-dimensional objects, which led to the development of domes built from prefabricated elements, aimed at covering the largest surface with the least material and effort.

Fuller was looking for an easily manufactured, modelled and environmentally controlled sustainable design: “A number of the hexagonal acrylic domes will have exhaust vents in the centre to permit the interior to ‘breathe’”.31 They would also protect from the sun and the outside, being able in the future to settle in areas with hostile climates, even on other planets.

Since the geodesic dome of Expo 1967, and until today, there has been a proliferation of geodesic domes for different uses: greenhouses, pavilions, and even houses.
With these examples we can see the different circumstances or features that have led to these pavilions becoming landmarks. While each one has its own qualities, the techniques used have always, in one way or another, served a greater cause.

Perhaps the most important thing is that these pavilions, designed from the beginning of their existence as ephemeral, were considered worthy of passing into the history of architecture, thus acquiring a new condition. The lasting impact of the ephemeral…


This article was first published in the 2021-22 edition of the BIE Bulletin entitled "World Expos: Architectural Labs"



1. Ephesus, H. Heraclitus of Ephesus (Ephesus c. 535 – c. 475) was an Ancient Greek, pre-Socratic, Ionian philosopher and a native of the city of Ephesus, which was then part of the Persian Empire. His paradoxical philosophy and appreciation for wordplay and cryptic utterances has earned him the epithet "The Obscure" since antiquity. He wrote a single work, only fragments of which have survived, increasing the obscurity associated with him. Heraclitus believed the world is in accordance with Logos (literally, "word", "reason", or "account") and is ultimately made of fire. He also believed in a unity of opposites and harmony in the world. He was most famous for his insistence on ever-present change - known in philosophy as "flux" or "becoming" - as the characteristic feature of the world.

2. Hegel, G. W. F. Enciclopedia de las ciencias filosóficas en compendio para uso de sus clases. Madrid: Alianza Editorial, 2000. Translated into English by the author.

3. Nietzsche, F. W. Also sprach Zarathustra. Ein Buch für Alle und Keinen, Ed. Ernst Schmeitzner, Chemnitz, Germany, 1883-1885. In this book, four volumes, published between 1883 and 1885, Nietzsche proposes a conception of time that consists in accepting that all the events of the world, all past, present and future situations will be repeated eternally.

4. Athenaeus of Naucratis, Deipnosophistae (original title: Δειπνοσοφισταί, translated as The Banquet of Scholars or Banquet of the Wise), Book V, 196 et seq., retrieved at: 2nd ed., Madrid, Gredos, 2015, pp. 311-312. Its author, a Greek rhetorical and grammatical writer of the Hellenistic period, lived between the end of the second century and the beginning of the third of the era, and in the work he narrates various banquets and celebrations, especially horseback rides and parades, providing a valuable testimony to the customs of the time.

5. López-Peláez, J. M. ‘Spanish Mat, Pabellón de Bruselas’58: Corrales y Molezún’, Madrid: Ministerio de la Vivienda y ETSAM: Departamento de Proyectos, 2005. Translated into English by the author.

6. The definition of the boîte à miracles appears in the ‘Théâtre Spontané’ lecture on architecture and dramatic art given by Le Corbusier on 11 December 1948 at the Sorbonne in Paris, published in Architecture et Dramaturgie, Bibliothèque d'Esthétique, Flammarion, Paris, 1950, pp.181-182. The Spanish text appears in the translation of the book The Heart of the City, CIAM VIII, El corazón de la Ciudad, Ed. Hoepli, Barcelona 1955, p.52: ‘Man, the true builder, the architect, can build you the most useful buildings because he knows the volumes best: what can build you is a magic box, a box that contains everything you want. The various scenes, the various acts will be born on the day when it is known that there is a magic box [...] The magic box is a cube: above, there is everything you need, light and all the necessary gadgets to do magic, levitation, manipulation, noise, etc. The interior is empty of ornament and you will propose, by the work of your spirit, everything you want in the likeness of the actors the ancient Commedia dell'Arte'. Translated English by the author.

7. Quesada, F. Le Corbusier y el Pabellón Philips in La Caja Mágica- Cuerpo y escena, Tesis Doctoral, Departamento Proyectos arquitectónicos, ETSAM, 2002

8. Camp Baeza, A. QUÉ es ser un arquitecto. Un sueño in Quiero ser arquitecto: para los que sueñan y luego quieren construir esos sueños, Madrid: Mairea, 2013, pp.13-14.

9. Blake, W. Auguries of Innocence in The Pickering Manuscript, 1807. Pierpont Morgan Library Dept. of Literary and Historical Manuscripts, Morgan Library and Museum. 225 Madison Avenue New York, NY 10016. URL:”To see a World in a Grain of Sand / And a Heaven in a Wild Flower / Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand / And Eternity in an hour”.

10. Campo Baeza, A. A un futuro estudiante de arquitectura, Op.cit. p.9.

11. Eco, U. A Theory of Expositions, in Travels in Hyperreality. New York: Harcourt Inc, 2002, pp. 291-307.

12. Umberto Eco clarifies the terms semiotics and semiology and opted for the term ‘semiotics’, according to the decision adopted in January 1969 in Paris by an international committee that gave rise to the "International Association for Semiotic Studies" and that accepted the term ‘semiotics’ (although not excluding the use of ‘semiology’. In Eco, U. El campo semiótico, en La estructura ausente. Introducción a la semiótica. Barcelona: Editorial Lumen, 1986, p. 7. Translated English by the author of this article.

13. Eco, U. A Theory of Expositions. Op.cit, p. 296.

14. Bayón, M. ‘Luces Inconclusas : Arquitecturas ausentes del S.XX’. Corrales y Molezún. Pabellón de España en la Exposición Universal de Bruselas 1958. Instalación en la Casa De Campo. Madrid: Rueda, 2004. Translated English by the author.

15. Fernández-Galiano, L. ‘Espacios efímeros’, Arquitectura Viva, Nº141,2011, p. 3. Translated into English by the author.

16. Charles Pierre Baudelaire wrote a series of essays, published by the French newspaper Le Figaro in three issues, on 26 and 29 November and 3 December 1863, under the title ‘Le Peintre de la vie moderne’, one of which is about La Modernité. “La modernité, c'est le fugitif, le transitoire, le contingent, la moitié de l'art, dont l'autre moitié est l'éternel et l'immuable”.

17. Zabalbeascoa, A. ‘Crystal Palace, el edificio favorito del arquitecto Norman Foster’. EL PAÍS Semanal, 10 August 2015. Translated English by the author.

18. Protestation contre la Tour de Mr Eiffel, published in Le Temps on 14 February 1887, is addressed to Mr Alphand, Director of the Exposition Works. Translated into English by the author.

19. Verlaine, P. La Décoration & l'Art industriel à l'Exposition de 1889. Typographie Monnoyer, Le Mans 1889. Translated into English by the author.

20. De Maupassant, G. La vie errante. Paris: Paul Ollendorff, 1890. First Trade Edition. Lassitude (extrait) Translated into English by the author.

21. Cocteau, J. Le cap de Bonne-Espérance. Éditions de la Sirène, Paris 1919, 13x16,5cm, broché. Original French description is: ‘La belle girafe en dentelle’.

22. Den, D., ‘Brussels Atomium: form as function’ in The Guardian, p. 60, 7 July 2008.

23. Kantchev, G. ‘World expositions can benefit or haunt cities’, The New York Times, 25 August 2013.

24. PietteI, V. Une histoire commune: Le pavillon tchécoslovaque à l’Exposition universelle de 1958 ou un miroir aux mille facettes, La Fonderie. Exposition universelle 58, No.37, Brussels: Décembre 2007.

25. Vivier, O., Varèse, Paris, Seuil 1973. Quote from Le Corbusier, p.161. Translated into English by the author.

26. Le Corbusier, El Modulor. Buenos Aires: Poseidón 1953. p.27. Translated into English by the author.

27. Palacios, M. D. ‘El Pabellón Philips. Le Corbusier. Iannis Xenakis. Bruselas. 1958’. AXA, una revista de Arte y Arquitectura. Madrid, Universidad Alfonso X El Sabio. July 2014. Translated into English by the author.

28. Coop Himme(l)blau Partners: «Sound scaping».

29. Bahn, S. Tributes to Frei Otto

30. Rogers, R. Tributes to Frei Otto

31. ‘Bucky’s Biggest Bubble’ in The Architectural Forum, Op. cit., p. 76.

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