Water: A Unique Resource, Expo Zaragoza 2008

Zaragoza, Spain

Water and sustainable development was the theme of the Expo, which was named the “biggest water festival on earth.” In a bridge pavilion designed by Zaha Hadid and five architectural structures designed by RAA overlooking the Ebro River, visitors learned about the importance of both water and its governance as a resource. They also discovered the extent of the current water crisis—global shortages, lack of access, and the need to purify it.

Outdoor architectural installations housed audio programs and water shows, environmental graphics, and poetic and meditative experiences. The causes, effects, and extent of the water crisis were presented on a synchronized a 130-foot-long media wall with floor interactives, large-scale graphics, LED installations, solutions-based audio-visual installations, twenty-four synchronized plasma screens, and graphic components. Water as a universal right was a semi-outdoor interactive installation hung from the bridge’s structure and a 100-foot-long water wall were dedicated to the idea of water as a universal right.  Here, visitors signed a petition to make access to clean water a human right.

A comprehensive identity, including a logo, website, catalogue, and press kit, supported Water: A Unique Resource. The three and half million visitors played a large part in the Expo’s overall success.

Expo Zaragoza

Zaha Hadid


45,000 square feet

  • Event Design Awards, Gold Winner, Best Outdoor Consumer Event/Exhibit/Environment

© 2014, Ralph Appelbaum Associates, Inc.