Glass Used to Create the Apperance of Water for New Spanish Expo Center

Water was the dominant theme of Aragón EXPO 2008 and the new Auditorium and Convention Center in Zaragoza takes up this theme by creating the impression of a water surface in motion. Designed by Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos S.L.P. based in Madrid, the Convention Center unfolds on the northern banks of Ebro with an irregular succession of shed roofs of various heights, similar to waves rolling towards the banks. The design pervades the entire building. From a distance you get the impression that the glass, ceramic and metal façade is a surface in motion consisting of the colors of the ocean with different shades of blue, grey and white each reflecting the light differently. The glass surfaces of the façade and the partition walls are designed to seem as though they swim in the light.

The Convention Center is illuminated mainly by natural light entering through the longitudinal glass façade and the large vertical surfaces of the offset shed roof landscape. To assure glare-free light in the interior, as well as protection from overheating through the strong Spanish sun, OKALUX capillary glass was used in the surfaces of the façade facing the south. Translucent capillary slabs in the space between the panes of the insulating glass are created to diffuse the incident light evenly to the interior allowing for glare-free daylight. OKALUX is said to also offer a high degree of light transmission with good thermic sun protection.

Photos: Roland Halbe