Structures, water, computers, languages and people (not necessarily in this order)

Expo-08: Work in progress

The Expo is an international exposition where countries, non-government organizations and some private companies take part to show their best. This year the world exposition will be held in Zaragoza, Spain, with the topic of "Water and sustainable development".

The event is being placed in a meander of the river Ebro and the most emblematic structures over the river are the 3rd Millenium Bridge designed by the engineering firm Arenas&Partners (left part of the pic) and Zaha Hadid's Bridge Pavilion(right). Both of them are not completed four months before the opening ceremony but it is interesting to see the progress -like a disputed competition- of the construction and the different contemporary approaches to the same problem: the minimalist engineering of Arenas and the futuristic baroque architecture of Hadid. The aerial photography was taken by a colleague this month and then gently borrowed by me.

Related: Arenas vs Hadid controversy.


  1. The photo is very nice indeed, it was very gentle of you to borrow it :)

    I presume Arenas's team is way ahead in the construction process, since I expected Hadid's bridge to be the most voluminous.

    Also, looking at the image in your related post ("Arenas vs. Hadid controversy"), I understand that both the city of Zaragoza and the expo are on the "lower" part of this latest photo. So what is the mission of the bridges? Are people supposed to come from the "upper" side?

  2. As far as I know, the pavilion bridge is a horizontal building and a steel footbridge that will link Almoraza Quarter and Delicias railway station to the Soth gate of Expo park. Arenas bridge is a concrete structure for the high speed train.

  3. Arenas bridge has not been designed for any railway line but for connecting two of the most populated neighbourhoods in Zaragoza (Delicias and Actur) and closing one of the internal ring roads by means of a six lane avenue (you will find very good monthly evolution photos at Hadid's bridge has been designed for beeing the south entrance to Expo Zaragoza and once this exhibition will be finished, it will be managed by Ibercaja (a Spanish Savings Bank) as an exhibition centre. Just in case, Arenas had another very interesting project for the pavillion bridge ( that shows the different concepts you are referring to.

  4. Anonymous fellow, you are utterly rigth: Arenas's bridge is a road bridge not a railway one. Thank you very much for your valious correction.

    I also heard that the main designer was not the Arenas but Guillermo Capellán -whom I met when he was lecturer at Universidade da Coruña- but I am not sure about this information.

  5. The 3rd Millenium Bridge has been designed by Arenas and his former partner. The comment of March 11, 2008 is erroneous.

  6. Dear anonymous reader, thank you very much for the useful punctualization. I beg your pardon for the innacurate information. However, the project and construction of a bridge is like a movie: they involve a lot and they mean a colective effort, from the main designer to the latest fresh new graduate working 12h a day for less than 1500 € per month. Properly speaking, nobody can claim that a civil engineering design is of his/her unique property. Anyway, I am confident that you will accept my apologies.