British Pavilion Expo

Seville, Spain

Project Description

In 1989 Grimshaw designed the British Pavilion for the Expo ‘92 in Seville. The design is characterised by structural clarity; it is a single volume building, designed as a kit of parts so that the structure is clearly expressed. The external skin of the structure varies to respond to climate conditions. The east facade supports a 65m x 18m water wall, which cools the glass surface. Solar cells on the roof panels harness solar energy to drive pumps that supply the water. The Pavilion’s west wall is comprised of stacked steel freight containers that are lined with an impermeable membrane and filled with water.

The north and south walls are constructed using yacht technology. Curved steel masts, spreaders and rigging have translucent PVC-coated fabric stretched between them to allow soft light to permeate the interior space. The Pavilion contains three freestanding exhibition decks and two enclosed pods, positioned to the north and south, on a tubular framework. Circulation walkways are suspended from this frame. The concourse forms the lid to the services and administrative facilities on the ground floor.

Project Details

Department of Trade & Industry
7,000 sq m
Completion Date:
Selected Awards
Structural Steel Design Awards
British Construction Industry Awards
Photography by Jo Reid & John Peck, Richard Bryant/