2005 World Exposition
Office Architects(FOA) 2005
Of the 65 pavilions that
individual or groups of countries have built to exhibit themselves at Japan's
World Expo, Spain's stands out strongly
architecturally. The external walls, lattices of irregular earthenware
hexagons of mixed colors, implausibly tessellated, are immediately striking
from across the Expo site.
These walls are an outer
skin, separated from the inner pavilion to give a half-in, half-out queuing
space (invaluable for an Expo at which lines are endemic). This separation
suggests at first that the hexagons may be superficial – external decoration
around a plain box inside. But the inside is anything but plain. A dramatic
oval plaza, with changing images of Spain, projected onto sixteen high-level
screens, gives access to smaller “side chapels” (the cathedral metaphor is
the architect’s) each developed by a different artist to illustrate a
Spanish theme, from Don Quixote to Spanish foods.
Spain has a strong
commitment to Expos, having hosted Expo 92 in Seville and
preparing for its 2008 Expo in Zaragoza,
and has created in Aichi an exemplary national pavilion.
Simon Glynn 2005
How to visit
The 2005 World Expo is
approximately 45 minutes
by train from Nagoya in central Japan, and runs
only until 25 September 2005. Full visitor information is
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