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Zaha to build Spanish bridge

Pritzker-prize winner Zaha Hadid has been chosen to design the new Bridge Pavilion for the Zaragoza Expo in 2008.

Spanning the River Ebro in the eastern Spanish city, the 250m-long footbridge will link the trade fair to the city's station and will also house an interactive exhibition area 'focusing on water sustainability'.

Hadid, whose BMW Central building has been shortlisted for this year's RIBA Stirling Prize, saw off competition from more than 41 international practices to land the job.

Masterminded in collaboration with the practice's Patrik Schumacher and with Arup Associates, the bridge will have four 'pods' which will create more than 7,000m 2of exhibition space.

According to the practice's design statement, visitors will be able to 'move from pod to pod though small in-between spaces that act as filters or buffer zones, tuning-down sound and visuals from one exhibition space to the next, therefore allowing for a clearer understanding of the art of the installation content.'

Included in the design are plans for moveable shingles on the facade of the structure which can rotate to 'open up' the bridge.

The scheme is due for completion in Spring 2008.

by Richard Waite

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