The Spanish airport has opened its gates in time for water and sustainability festival
Zaragoza is receiving an architectural make-over in the run-up to Expo Zaragoza 2008 festival. The festival is the biggest water and sustainable development festival in the world and is one of a series of International Expositions since 1851 producing landmarks worldwide including the Eiffel Tower. Expo Zaragoza, which starts on the 14th June, is expected to be so big they have had to build a new airport to cope with the attendance. Having been designed and built in just 3 years the new €40 million Zaragoza Airport, designed by Vidal y Asociados arquitectos is now fully fuctional providing ‘a new gateway to Europe’.
The terminal covers 11,000 sq m of floor space and is designed to respond to an increase in the international inflow generated by the Expo and to open up Zaragoza as a tourist destination.
The building is composed of 11 modules, set in an alternative pattern in such a way that it resembles water movement, appropriate to the airports original purpose. The design stands out for its functionality and responds to three basic principles: flexibility, articulation and openness. The modular structure will allow growth into necessary areas, the layout allows for a sequential flow of passengers and the maximisation of natural light encourages openness. The external of the airport has also been landscaped preserving the maximum of green areas circumscribing the Terminal.
Expo Zaragoza has also seen a Zaha Hadid-designed bridge, which will be officially opened on the 13th June, added to the landscape. Following the exposition, Zaragoza itself will continue to undergo a transformation with building works taking place throughout the city. Following the International Exhibition the conference centre will be turned into a 160,000 sq m business park designed by Estudio Lamela and the Master de Ingeniería y Arquitectura studio.
Niki May Young