Spanish Pavilion at the 2005 World Expo, Aichi, Japan

The Spanish Pavilion at the 2005 World Expo in Aichi, Japan, explored the cultural hybridisation which has been a central theme throughout Spanish history. In particular, the pavilion focused on the architectural potenial of hybridisation of the European Jewish-Christian cultures and the Islamic occupation of the Iberian Peninsula between the 8th and 15th centuries. Since arches, vaults, lattices and traceries belong to both Christian and Islamic cultures, the Spanish Pavilion was designed as a lattice envelope enclosing a series of interconnected vaulted spaces or chapel, each of which was constructed as a vaulted bubble. The lattice envelope is also a reinterpretation of a traditional element, since the lattice elements commonly found in Spanish architecture reflect the fusion between Christian and Islamic architecture.

The lattice enclosed an interstitial space which hosted the pavilion’s circulation akin to a Japanese engawa, or in-between space. It was designed with a non-repetitive pattern using six hexagonal ceramic tile pieces (like many gothic and Islamic traceries), each of which were differently shaped and coded with a different colour. The combination of geometrical variety and colour resulted in an apparently non-repetitive pattern, maximising the presence of the pavilion.

Architect - Foreign Office Architects

Content Exhibit - Ingenia Qed

Project Management - Inypsa

Photography - Satoru Mishima


Aichi, Japan


Spanish Society of International Exhibitions (SEEI)



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