Mangado‘s Spanish Pavilion was originally constructed for the 2008 Zaragoza World Expo, which drew architects from around the globe to build incredible feats of forward-thinking architecture focused around the themes of water and sustainable development.
The pavilion’s most striking feature is its staggered ceramic brise soleil composed of specially designed Decorativa tiles, which shield the building’s glass façade from the intense Spanish sun. The form and function of these pillars was inspired by the historic use of ceramics in the surrounding Aragon region.
There is not much wood available for building in the area, and not much local stone other than alabaster, which is too soft to use as a building material – as a result, many of the structures in the surrounding city of Zaragoza are built from bricks, and some of the city’s oldest examples of Mudéjar architecture prominently feature ceramic tiles. Mangado‘s choice to showcase this material makes a lot of sense, as ceramics are durable, locally sourced building materials that do not deteriorate or change color when exposed to sunlight.