Expo Blog

The Expo Blog is a space for posts on the history, themes, legacies and experience of Expos. It includes articles from the BIE and external contributors.

A to Z of Expo Architects: Bjarke Ingels

A to Z of Expo Architects: Bjarke Ingels

Perhaps the youngest architect featuring on this A-Z series, Bjarke Ingels had nevertheless already made a name for himself when at 35 years old, he created, Denmark’s enchanting pavilion for World Expo 2010 Shanghai.

Having created his own architectural office (Bjarke Ingels Group – BIG) in 2006, Ingels was selected, with 2+1 and Arup, to design his home country’s pavilion at the first World Expo to take place in China. The architect and his team took an unconventional yet perceptive approach to the challenge: showcasing the virtues of urban life in Denmark via a 3,000m2 temporary building.

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Seattle’s Expo 1962 legacy calling

NASA Pavilion at Expo 1962 Seattle. Credit: Seattle Public Library

Renovations and improvements to Seattle Center, the legacy site of Expo 1962 - the Century 21 Exposition in Seattle-, continue with some ups and downs.

The Space Needle has been undergoing a USD 100 million upgrade and renovation, including the installation of the world’s only rotating glass floor called The Loupe. A television documentary on the renovation project called “The Space Needle: Remaking an Icon” by Seattle station KING-TV contains exclusive film footage of the project—including showing how the Needle has been able to remain open despite construction 152 metres in the air. The documentary recently received a local Emmy Award nomination. It is well worth watching.

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A to Z of Expo Architects: Zaha Hadid

A to Z of Expo Architects: Zaha Hadid

Taking the “H” spot on the Expo Architects list is the first woman to be awarded the Pritzker Prize, acclaimed Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid.

Renowned for her bold, curvaceous buildings that blend in with the local environment, one of Hadid’s most outstanding creations is the Bridge Pavilion, built for Specialised Expo 2008 Zaragoza.

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A to Z of Expo Architects: Charles Girault

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Creating magnificent structures for Expos is not only a question of design, it is also one of overcoming obstacles, building under various constraints, and pushing boundaries in the use of innovative techniques and approaches. This is notably the case for Charles Girault, who took on the hefty task of coordinating three separate designs in order to build an enchanting palace of fine arts – the Grand Palais - for Expo 1900 Paris.

With its impressive glass nave rising between the Champs-Elysées and the Seine River, the Grand Palais was built following a long selection process in which it was decided to combine the three winning entries by Henri-Adolphe Deglane, Albert Louvet and Albert Thomas. Charles Girault was given the responsibility of overseeing and supervising the mammoth project – and reconciling the designs of all architects involved.

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Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability - blending the UAE’s preparation for Expo 2020 with its economic trajectory

Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability - blending the UAE’s preparation for Expo 2020 with its economic trajectory

It is impressive to grasp the economic growth the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been through in a short amount of time and to see the current economic development across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), like in Saudi Arabia and Oman.

The UAE has not only chosen its theme to showcase to the world in October 2020 (when Expo 2020 Dubai will commence) but in practice, the country is already living and breathing it. “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” – this is the theme of Expo 2020 Dubai. Specifically, the World Expo has three subthemes – Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability.

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Opinions given by external contributors do not necessarily reflect the views and position of the BIE