The Zaragoza Bridge Pavilion is organized around 4 main elements, or “pods”, that perform both as structural elements and as spatial enclosures, where each ‘pod’ corresponds to a specific exhibition space.
Expo Zaragoza originally envisaged the concept of an enclosed exhibition pavilion spanning the river. This concept is extremely exciting and Zaha Hadid Architects worked to develop the design that couples architecture and engineering.
For this reason, the structure is largely visible and plays an important role in defining the Bridge Pavilion’s external envelope. The unique design meets the client’s wish for enclosed exhibition spaces, yet offers direct visual connections with the river whilst also shading from the sun.
The Bridge Pavilion represents over 30 years of detailed research and examination by Zaha Hadid into bridge design.
The practice has a welcome reputation for extracting the maximum potential from structural advancements and technical innovations, with the Bridge Pavilion design using the latest in design and construction technologies.
“We like projects which are structurally ambitious and I think the Bridge Pavilion illustrates the excellent symbiotic relationship we have with engineers.” says Hadid. “Our ambitions towards creating fluid, dynamic and therefore complex structures has been aided by technological innovations, and applying this knowledge to the Bridge Pavilion has been a very rewarding process.”
The hybrid nature of the Zaragoza Bridge Pavilion represented the perfect challenge for Zaha Hadid Architects. The design merges two traditionally distinct and separate building typologies: the “infrastructure” element (the bridge) and an “architectural” element (the pavilion). With the Bridge Pavilion design, Zaha Hadid Architects has challenged the conventional idea of a bridge being purely engineering.
“As the Bridge Pavilion is not one particular building typology, this really adds to the richness of the spaces inside.”explains Hadid. “We build the complexity of all our projects in relationship to the inherent complexity of the program, but then clarify the diagram as much as possible to be a logical configuration. This is evident in our design for the Bridge Pavilion. All the forces operate at the same time, so that the view of the exhibition is inherently related to nature of the visitors’ path through the Bridge Pavilion - but equally, the experience of the path shifts according to what the viewer is seeing at a given moment.”
Design: Zaha Hadid and Patrik Schumacher
Project Architect: Manuela Gatto (Associate)
Project Team: Zaha Hadid Architects: Fabian Hecker , Matthias Baer, Soohyun Chang, Feng Chen, Atrey Chhaya, Ignacio Choliz, Federico Dunkelberg, Dipal Kothari, Maria Jose Mendoza, José Monfa, Marta Rodriguez, Diego Rosales, Guillermo Ruiz, Lucio
Santos, Hala Sheikh, Marcela Spadaro, Anat Stern, Jay Suthadarat.
Arup: Francisco Javier Rueda, Kevin Acosta, Jorge Arruga, Monica Bamogo, Simon
Barnes, Gordon Brown, George Faller, Ignacio Fernandez, Jimmy Jonsson, Javier
Galan, Alejandro Garcia, Fernando Garcia, Matias Garcia, Valentin Garcia, Mitsuhiro
Kanada, Francisco Luque, Brian Loudon, Nerea Martinez, Carlos Merino, Duncan
Steel, Ana Cristina Tomas.
Client: Expoagua 2008
Dimensions: Length: 270m (185m from the island to the right bank + 85m from the island to the Expo riverbank).
Distance between foundations: 155m (from the island to the right bank) and 125m
from the island to the Expo riverbank).
Floor area: 6412sqm
Maximum height: 30m.
Foundation piles: 68m
North Section (3 ‘pods’) weighs 3,500 tons
South Section (1 ‘pod’) weighs 2,200 tons