x

ARAGON CONVENTION CENTRE

Zaragoza, Spain 2005-2008

x

ARAGON CONVENTION CENTRE

Zaragoza, Spain 2005-2008

At first glance it seems hard to assign a key role to an architectural element that is isolated from a project, and one generally accepts that, if there is a protagonist, it must be related to its global conception, not to partial aspects. But a close reading of a work like the Congress Center of Aragón, aside from helping to understand it as a complex whose internal structure is perceived through the spatial connections and resonances among the pieces that form it, also allows acknowledging the meaning that one single principle can acquire through the mechanism of the series. The awareness of the need to quickly complete this building included in the precinct of the ephemeral Expo 2008, as well as the absence of significant previous references in a place that had to be randomly filled with buildings by different authors and with varied characteristics, determined a process that can be defined as combinatorial, not only from the conceptual or compositional point of view, but also in terms of material and construction. In the project for the Congress Center all the decisions affecting its spatial, volumetric, formal, structural, constructive, and material definition emerged successively from a desire to create combinations starting from elementary units: a skylight, a structural grid, a concrete panel, a ceramic piece, an enclosure module, and so on. The linear skylight, the true protagonist of the project, starts out as a plane folded in parallel bands, open alternatively toward the north and the south, repeated with variants whose dimension and height change depending on the spatial needs of the interior. These multiple transformations provide the mechanism that enables the unit’s adaptation to different circumstances, a system able to generate an order through the establishment of series.
The broken and variable profile of its section attends to the different uses of the building, to the desire to introduce natural light, and to the way in which the building is situated in the terrain. Like a bright and radiant veil, the large roof clad with GRC panels and ceramic generates positive and negative exhibition spaces braided in an upward and downward sequence that is transformed into a metaphor of an artificially built landscape. In recent years many projects have established a contrast between architecture understood as landscape and the traditional conception of buildings as independent objects with their own internal structure. The Zaragoza project picks up this idea, but tries to do so avoiding what has already become a commonplace: the analogies with the forms of nature that are often translated into geometries of improbable materialization. Perhaps for that reason our proposal is closer to some experiences, such as those of Alvar Aalto and Jørn Utzon, when the current digital means of formal generation did not exist and it was thus necessary to find, from the outset, a direct link between the architectural form, its construction, and its execution. In sum, we have sought out an internal geometric law and its later translation into a structural and building process.
In this work, geometry, structure, and construction are part of a same combinatorial game. The need for a quick execution, which was initially an inconvenience, encouraged us to overcome the problem from its first architectural conception. A strict modulation, the preference for prefabricated building systems susceptible of being repeated, the choice of a metallic structural solution for large spans, and, finally, restraint in the palette of materials, are all arguments of a strategy that allowed us to face the difficult conditions of a process that generated its own dynamics independently from the architectural project. The sheen and the reflections with which the roof asserts its presence during the day find their contrast at night, when the Congress Center appears like a landscape of interior light emerging from the terrain: both are images of a serial and combinatorial architecture in which an isolated theme is able to activate the whole work, like an imaginary representation of a musical fugue of multiple rhythms.
x

ARAGON CONVENTION CENTRE

Zaragoza, Spain 2005-2008

Location
Zaragoza, Spain
Client
Government of Aragón
Architects
Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos
Fuensanta Nieto, Enrique Sobejano
Program
Convention Centre Expo 2008
Total floor area
22.285 m2
Project architect
Patricia Grande
Project team
Carlos Ballesteros, Mauro Herrero, Sebastian Sasse, Alexandra Sobral 
Site supervision
Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos
Fuensanta Nieto, Enrique Sobejano
Lucía Gigante, Miguel Mesas Izquierdo
U.T.E. Máster S.A. de Ingeniería y Arquitectura -Técnicas Reunidas, S.A.
Structural engineer
N.B.35, S.L.
Mechanical engineer
R. Úrculo Ingenieros Consultores, S.A.
Fire prevention consultant
3i Ingeniería Industrial, S.L.
Acustic consultant
Arau Acustica
Façade consultant
Ove Arup & Partners
Models
Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos
Juan de Dios Hernández - Jesús Rey
Photographs
Aurofoto, S.L. (models)
Roland Halbe    
Fernando Alda 
Pedro Pegenaute  
Project dates
Competition: 2005
Design: 2006-07
Completion: 2008
x

ARAGON CONVENTION CENTRE

Zaragoza, Spain 2005-2008

Monograph TC CUADERNOS nº 131/132. 2017
Published by General de Ediciones de Arquitectura. Valencia, Spain
ISBN: 978-84-947421-4-9 
Page: 126 – 153
 
Monograph NS. 2014
Fuensanta Nieto Enrique Sobejano Architetture
Published by Electa Architecttura. Milan, Italy
Authors: Fuensanta Nieto & Enrique Sobejano
ISBN: 978-88-9180-228-6
Page: 72 – 83
 
Monograph NIETO SOBEJANO. MEMORY AND INVENTION. 2013
Published by Hatje Cantz Verlag. Ostfildern, Germany
Authors: Fuensanta Nieto & Enrique Sobejano
ISBN: 978-3-7757-3619-0
Page: 173 – 187
 
Book EXHIBITION & CONVENTION CENTER. 2013
Published by Hi-design International Publishing Co., Ltd. Shenzhen, China 
ISBN: 978-7-5611-7320-6
Page: 234 – 251
 
Monograph WA nº 269. 2012
Nieto Sobejano Architects
Published by World  Architecture Magazine Publications, Beijing, China
ISSN: 1002-4832
Page: Cover, 30 – 35
 
Catalogue Exhibition BS+ ARQUITECTURA ESPAÑOLA 1975-2010. 2012
35 + “Construyendo en Democracia”
Published by Antonio Ruiz Barbarín & Ministerio de Fomento. Madrid, Spain
ISBN-10: 84-615-6173-2
ISBN-13: 978-84-615-6173-5
Page: 186
 
Book 100 x N. ARCHITECTURA SHAPE AND SKIN. 2011
Published by Hong Kong Architecture Science Press. China 
ISBN: 978-7-214-07073-9
Page: 82 – 87
 
Book ARCHITECTURE A WOMAN`S PROFESSION. 2011
Published by Jovis Verlag GmbH. Berlin, Germany
Author: Tanja Kullack
ISBN: 978-3-86859-086-9
Page: 96 – 103
 
Monograph AV MONOGRAFÍAS / MONOGRAPHS nº 146. 2010
Nieto & Sobejano 1999-2011
Published by Arquitectura Viva, S.L. Madrid, Spain
ISSN: 0213-487X
Article: Serie Combinatoria / Combinatorial Series
Page: 100 – 109
 
Magazine DOMUS nº 940. 2010
Extra Ceramica e Architettura
Published by Domus S.p.A. Milan, Italy
ISSN: 0012-5377
Page: 31– 38
 
Book RITMOS, CICLOS, COMPORTAMIENTOS. CERAMICA EN ARQUITECTURA. 2010
Published by Ascer. Castellón, Spain
Author: Jaime Zalazar
ISBN 9788461394074
Page: 30 – 35
 
Magazine ART nº 7. 2010
Published by Gruner + Jahr AG & Co KG. Hamburg, Germany
ISSN: 0173-2781
Article: Die Moderne spricht spanisch
Author: Till Briegleb
Page: 72 – 73
 
Magazine ARQUITECTURA VIVA. Special Edition. 2010
Cerámica
Published by Arquitectura Viva, S.L. Madrid, Spain
ISSN: 0213-487X
Page: 32 – 35
 
Magazine A10 nº 31. 2010
Published by Boom Tijdschriften. Amsterdam, Netherlands
ISSN: 1573-3815
Article: Landscape of light
Author: Editorial Board
Page: 55
 
Catalogue EUROPEAN UNION PRIZE FOR CONTEMPORARY ARCHITECTURE. 2009
Mies van der Rohe Award
Published by Fundación Mies Van der Rohe, Actar. Barcelona, Spain
ISBN: 978-84-92861-01-9
Page: 234 – 237
 
Magazine AV MONOGRAFÍAS / MONOGRAPHS nº 135/136. 2009
Spain Yearbook
Published by Arquitectura Viva, S.L. Madrid, Spain 
ISSN: 0213-487X
Page: 146 – 153
 
Magazine OFICINAS nº 277. 2009 
Published by Grupo Tecnipublicaciones, S.L. Madrid, Spain
ISSN: 0030-0640
Page: Cover, 58 – 71
 
Magazine HÄUSER nº 2. 2009
Published by Gruner + Jahr AG & Co KG. Hamburg, Germany
ISSN: 0173-2781
Article: Die Raumschöpfer
Author: Jürgen Tietz
Page: 112 – 116
 
Magazine IIC. L`INDUSTRIA ITALIANA DEL CEMENTO nº 1. 2009 
Published by Pubblicemento s.r.l. Rome, Italy
ISSN: 0019-7637 
Article: L`Auditorium fortalezza / The fortress Auditorium
Author: Marco Santacesaria
Page: 8 – 17
 
Magazine EL CROQUIS nº 142. 2008
Prácticas Arquitectónicas / Architectural practices
Published by El Croquis Editorial. Madrid, Spain
ISSN: 0212-5633
Page: 6 – 81
 
Book ARQUITEXTURAS. Expo Zaragoza. 2008
Published by Formica, S.A. Vizcaya, Spain
Author: Juli Capella, Ramón Úbeda
Legal Deposit: B-49769-2008
Page: 26 – 37 
 
Magazine PROMATERIALES DE CONSTRUCCIÓN Y ARQUITECTURA ACTUAL nº 19. 2008
Published by Editorial Protiendas, S.L. Madrid, Spain
ISSN: 1888-8410
Page: 108 – 109
 
Magazine EQUIPAMIENTOS CULTURALES nº 29. 2008
Published by Carlos Gonzalbo & Asociados, S.L. Madrid, Spain
ISSN: 1136-8896
Page: 90 – 101
 
Magazine PASAJES DE ARQUITECTURA Y CRÍTICA nº 99. 2008
Published by América Ibérica. Madrid, Spain
ISSN: 1575-1937
Page: 34 – 46
 
Magazine ON DISEÑO nº 294. 2008
Published by On Diseño, S.L. Barcelona, Spain
ISSN: 0210-2080
Page: 172 – 189
 
Magazine ARQUITECTURA VIVA nº 117. 2008
Published by Arquitectura Viva, S.L. Madrid, Spain
ISSN: 0214-1256
Page: 38 – 43
 
Book ARQUITECTURA EXPO ZARAGOZA 2008. PROYECTO URBANO. 2008
Published by Sociedad Estatal Expoagua 2008, S.A. Zaragoza, Spain & Actar. Barcelona, Spain
ISBN: 978-84-935471-2-7 / 978-84-96954-41-0
Page: 178 – 189
 
Magazine DISEÑART nº 30. 2008
Published by Nuevas Fórmulas de Comunicación, S.A. Madrid, Spain
Legal Deposit: M-34972-2005 
Article: Paisaje de Cubiertas
Author: Esaú Acosta
Page: 50 – 58
Article: Más allá de la Expo. Interview Nieto Sobejano
Page: 59
 
Revista SPACE nº 490. 2008
Editada por Lee Sang-leem. Seul, Corea
ISSN: 1228-2472
Pág: 54 – 61
 
Magazine MD International Magazine of Design nº 10. 2008 
Published by Konradin Verlag - Robert Hohlhammer GmbH. Stuttgart, Germany
ISSN: 0343-0642
Article: Meeting place of the World / Treffpunkt der Welt
Author: Ulrich Büttner
Page: 76 – 81
 
Magazine C3 nº 289. 2008
Published by C3 Publishing Co. Seoul, Korea
ISSN: 1227-611101
Page: 66 – 77
 
Magazine EUROP`A ACERO ARQUITECTURA. Special Issue. 2008 
Published by APTA, Asociación para la Promoción Técnica de Acero. Madrid, Spain
ISSN: 1951-1299
Article: Pliegues Tectónicos
Author: Francisco Javier Casas Cobo
Page: 26 – 29 
 
Magazine BAUWELT nº 27. 2008
Published by Bertelsmann Springer Bauverlag GmbH. Gütersloh, Germany
ISSN: 0005-6855
Article: Gestaffelte Dachlandschaft 
Author: Editorial Board
Page: 32 – 35
 
Magazine ARQUITECTURA VIVA nº 117. 2008
Published by Arquitectura Viva, S.L. Madrid, Spain
ISSN: 0214-1256
Article: Sierra Blanca
Author: Editorial Board
Page: 38 – 43
 
Magazine BABELIA nº 863. 2008
Extra Newspaper El País. Spain 
Article: Las formas del agua
Author: William Curtis
Page: 5 – 8
 
Magazine ARQUITECTURA Z nº 9/10. 2008
Ciudad Expuesta (tres)
Published by La Moderna S.L. Zaragoza, Spain
ISSN: 4884-3605
Article: Un paisaje de cubiertas
Author: Editorial Board
Page: 36 – 39
 
Magazine AZ nº 6. 2008
Published by Junta de Compensación Polígono Universidad. Zaragoza, Spain 
ISSN: 4884-3605
Article: La arquitectura al cuadrado
Interview Nieto Sobejano
Author: Kety Sierra
Page: 6 – 11
 
Magazine FQ Business Magazine nº 20. 2008
Editada por HKN Hakingen Corporation, S.L. Madrid, Spain
Legal Deposit: M-20011-2006
Article: Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos
Page: 10 – 11
 
Magazine AV PROYECTOS nº 021. 2007
Published by Arquitectura Viva, S.L. Madrid, Spain
ISSN: 1697-493X
Page: 68 – 81
 
Magazine EL CROQUIS nº 136/137. 2007
Sistemas de Trabajo (II) / Work System (II) 
Published by El Croquis Editorial. Madrid, Spain
ISSN: 0212-5633
Page: 226 – 235
 
Magazine ARKITEKTEN nº 04. 2007
Published by Birgitte Kleis, Eric Juul, Lars Nevald y Sille Kroyer Koppel. København, Denmark
ISSN: 0004-198X 
Article: Spansk Saerpraeg
Author: Maria Gomez-Guillamon
Page: 46 – 47
 
Magazine FUTURE ARQUITECTURAS nº 6. 2007
Published by Future Arquitecturas, S.L. Madrid, Spain
ISSN: 1885-8228
Page: 95
 
 
Magazine ARCHITECTURAL RECORD nº 11. 2006
Published by McGraw Hill Construction. New York, USA
ISSN: 0003-858X
Article: Zaragoza prepares a garden of architectural delights for 2008 World’s Fair
Author: David Cohn
Page: 32
 
Magazine FUTURE ARQUITECTURAS nº 4. 2006
Published by Future Arquitecturas, S.L. Madrid, Spain
ISSN: 1885-8228
Page: 38 – 41
 
Newspaper EL PAÍS. 25.06.2006
Article: Zaragoza 2008. Las obras emblemáticas
Author: Anatxu Zabalbeascoa
Page: 7
 
Magazine PASAJES DE ARQUITECTURA Y CRÍTICA nº 76. 2006
Published by América Ibérica. Madrid, Spain
ISSN: 1575-1937
Page: 10 – 11
 
Magazine VIA CONSTRUCCIÓN nº 30. 2006
Published by Grupo Vía. Madrid, Spain 
Legal Deposit: GI-06-2003               
Article: Diálogo espacial para el encuentro entre culturas
Author: Carmen Béjar
Page: 47
 
Magazine ARQUINE nº 35. 2006
Published by Arquine, SA de CV. México
ISSN: 1405-6151
Page: 10
 
Magazine ARQUITECTURA COAM nº 343. 2006
Published by Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos de Madrid. Spain
ISSN: 0004-2706
Article: Entre la lógica y la intuición: La arquitectura reciente de Fuensanta Nieto y Enrique Sobejano
Author: William J.R. Curtis
Page: 20 – 22
 
Magazine EL CULTURAL. 09.03.2006
Extra Newspaper El Mundo
Published by Prensa Europea , S.L. Madrid, Spain
Article: Reflejos de la ciudad del agua
Author: Antón García-Abril
Page: 38
 
Magazine TC CUADERNOS nº 71. 2006
Concursos
Published by Ediciones Generales de la Construcción, Valencia, Spain
ISBN: 1136-906X
Page: 156 – 161
 
Magazine BABELIA. 14.01.2006
Extra Newspaper El País. Spain 
Article: Zaragoza, en 2008 y después
Author: José Laborda Nieva
Page: 12
 
Magazine ARQUITECTURA VIVA nº 104. 2006
Published by Arquitectura Viva, S.L. Madrid, Spain
ISSN: 0214-1256 
Article: Zaragoza y el agua. Dos concursos para la Exposición de 2008
Author: José Laborda
Page: 104 – 105
 
Magazine AV PROYECTOS nº 012. 2005
Published by Arquitectura Viva, S.L. Madrid, Spain
ISSN: 1697-493X
Page: 50 – 53
 
Newspaper ABC. 29.10.2005 
Article: Arquitecturas Narrativas
Author: Juan Miguel Hernández de León
Page: 48 – 49
 
Newspaper EL PERIÓDICO Aragón. 29.09.2005
Article: Los arquitectos Sobejano y Nieto diseñarán el Palacio de Congresos
Author: Editorial Board
Page: 14
 
Newspaper HERALDO DE ARAGÓN. 29.09.2005
Article: Nieto y Sobejano diseñarán el Palacio de Congresos de la Expo
Author: Editorial Board
Page: 10
 
x

ARAGON CONVENTION CENTRE

Zaragoza, Spain 2005-2008

Bien de Interés Cultural, in the Monument Category. 2012

The International Architecture Award. The Chicago Athenaeum Museum. 2009 

Selected European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award. 2009