Guallart Architects


Spanish Pavillion


3rd prize national competition

project 2007

The Spanish Pavilion for the Shanghai Expo projects itself as a recognizable space which connects with the culture of Spain and generates synergies in the Chinese context. The pavilion is clearly iconic and develops the theme of Expo —’Better city, Better Life’— to propose that cities be developed on the basis of a formal and functional hybridization of the natural and the artificial. The scheme creates a plantation of artificial trees, surrounded by the fruits of Spanish agriculture, especially orange and lemon trees. The trees, of laser-cut sheet metal, will constitute the physical structure of the building, and will also contain its metabolic systems. Photovoltaic panels on the tops of these trees will provide the building with energy, which will be distributed through the structural elements to the spotlights that will indirectly illuminate the interior spaces. The dimensions of the structure (which in places reaches an internal height of five metres) are sufficient to house the air conditioning and water vapour systems. The elevators are also incorporated into these structures. This makes it possible to create large empty spaces to accommodate the activities of the Expo. The same principle has been applied to a series of smaller pavilions to be constructed all over Spain.

The project serves to explore the development of a parametric arboreal structure based on the L-system in which a constant section is applied to the three-dimensional structure. The proliferation of trees is sufficient to allow them to be grouped into a hypostyle structure.


Competition Date:2007
Client: Sociedad estatal para exposiciones internacionales, SEEI Spain
Site: Shanghai
Architecture: Guallart Architects
Main architects: Vicente Guallart, María Díaz, Fernando Meneses, Daniela Frogheri
Collaborators: Marian Albarrán, Ana Cabellos, Marta Vélez, Andrea Imaz, Rainer Goldstein, Ricardo Guerreiro
3D Images: Enrique Ramírez, Néstor David Palma, Ricardo Guerreiro
Models: Christine Bleicher, Laure-Hélène Pelissot, Filipa Barraquero, Gerardo Galaviz
Metallic Model: Lluquet
Software: Oriol Ferrer