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Zaragoza Bridge Pavilion

  • Zaragoza, Spain
  • 2005 – 2008
  • Expoagua Zaragoza
  • Built
  • 6415m2
  • Exhibition Surface: 3915m² Pedestrian Bridge: 2500m²

An enclosed interactive space spanning the River Ebro to form a gateway to the Zaragoza Expo 2008, a hybrid of pedestrian footbridge and exhibition pavilion. Four structural elements correspond to specific spatial enclosures, which intersect and brace each other. This fluid, dynamic design interprets the Expo’s theme: ‘Water and Sustainable Development.’

Our first completed bridge project, the Zaragoza Bridge Pavilion is one of few in the world to merge two building typologies, combining engineering infrastructure with architectural elements.

It is built diagonally over the River Ebro, smoothly and continuously connecting the main boulevard in the Delicias Intermodal Station to the Expo site, passing over a small isle.

With a surface area of approximately 6,500 metres and a length of 280 metres, the Bridge Pavilion is the only inhabited bridge in Spain – constituting the most daring building and the biggest construction challenge of the entire Expo, with its 68.5 metre foundations the deepest ever built in the country.

The structure’s intersecting ‘pods’ allow its weight to be distributed across the four diagrid trusses, instead of a singular element, leading to a reduction in the size of load-bearing members needed to span its 155m and 125m sections.


With a gently curving outline, its cross-section takes the shape of a diamond and its cladding is inspired by shark scales, laid out in an optical pattern of superimposed panels – an organic, braided form that creates a natural microclimate on the interior.

In particular, we considered the local Cierzo wind when designing the building’s skin: a variety of openings convey and direct air into the interior, cooling visitors in the summer heat.

The design of the Bridge Pavilion directly relates to the programme of activities within it: the view of the exhibition is inherently linked to the nature of the visitors’ path through the enclosure – but equally, the experience of the path shifts according to what the viewer is seeing at a given moment.


Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumacher


Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumacher

Project Architect

Manuela Gatto

Project Team

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.

Competition Team

Feng Chen, Atrey Chhaya, Dipal Kotari


ARUP Associates

Cost / QS

ARUP Associates / IDOM