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Competition: Boulevard and Bridge, Expo 2023

Argentina has launched an international contest for a new Public Space, Boulevard and Bridge at Expo 2023 Buenos Aires (Deadline: 26 August)

The anonymous two-stage competition – organised by the country’s Central Society of Architects – seeks conceptual proposals for a 140 metre-wide and 800 metre-long boulevard and integrated pedestrian and cycle bridge for Expo 2023 which will focus on the theme of Science, Innovation, Art and Creativity for Human Development.

The call for concepts is the last in a series of six open competitions which are being held for prominent commissions on the 25-hectare expo site which has been masterplanned by Argentine architects Gustavo Mozzi and Hernán Vela. Previous contests for the Argentine Pavilion, a Mini Stadium, a Antenna and Viewpoint, and International Pavilions have already been launched. 

Contest site: Expo 2023

Contest site: Expo 2023

Contest site: Expo 2023

According to the brief: ‘The contest regards a great boulevard, 140 metres wide and 800 meteres long, that will organize the whole masterplan, bringing together all of the pavilions and activities of the expo. The boulevard should be conceived as a space with a public character that organizes the flow of visitors and directs them towards the entrances of the different activities.

‘At the same time, the route should also feature a pedestrian and cyclist bridge – also part of this competition – that crosses the General Paz motorway and connects the festival site – which located on the edge of the capital – with the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires. The encounter between the boulevard and the bridge will mark the main point of access for Expo 2023.’ 

Located on the South American continent’s south eastern coast, Buenos Aires is the largest and capital city of Argentina. The city won its bid to host Expo 2023 two years ago, triumphing over rival offers by Łódź, Poland and Minneapolis, USA.

Buenos Aires is one of the smaller, specialised expositions which traditionally take place two years after the larger universal expositions such as Milan and Dubai. Running from 15 January and 15 April, the event is expected to receive around 9 million visitors and will be the first of its kind hosted in Latin America.

Contest site: Expo 2023

Contest site: Expo 2023

Contest site: Expo 2023

The expo is a themed around creative industries in digital convergence and explores the full depth of creativity – its origins, impact and potential – as one of the fundamental features of humankind.

The event will be held on the 50 hectare site of the existing Tecnopolis exhibition park located within the Villa Martelli area of Vicente López District in the northern edge of the capital city. A 25 hectare segment of park has been earmarked for the expo.

The latest competition involves creating a new central route through the site featuring retail and food kiosks, corporate pavilions, cycle parking, sun shades, drinking fountains, seating, lighting, an amphitheatre, and a large ceremonial square for hosting events. An integrated pedestrian and cycle bridge over a nearby motorway will also be required.

The overall winner – due to be announced on 3 September – will receive a ARS$2.2 million prize while a second prize of ARS$880,000 and third prize of ARS$440,000 will also be awarded.

How to apply

Deadline

The deadline for applications is 26 August

Contact details

Email: secretaria@socearq.org

Visit the competition website for more Information

Q&A with Hernan Vela

The Expo 2023 masterplanner discusses his ambitions for the competition

Hernan Vela

Hernan Vela

Hernan Vela

What is your vision for the public space, boulevard and bridge?

The Public Space, Boulevard and Bridge competition involves the design of all of the common areas of the Expo 2023 venue. It comprises a central boulevard that organizes the masterplan and arranges the different structures that will hold Expo 2023’s various activities. The boulevard, measuring 140 metres wide and 800 metres long, will be the main area of pedestrian flow and will control visitors’ movements between all of the expo facilities. Along its route there will be different stops (such as small shows, attractions, etc.) which will create a combination of both dynamic pedestrian flows and static dwelling. The boulevard will also host different activities related to Expo 2023 – including corporate pavilions (where sponsors will have their stands), gastronomic and commercial areas, a ceremonies square (where there will be outdoor events), and rest areas.

The boulevard continues into a bridge – also part of this competition – which crosses one of the main motorways of the city and connects the site, located in the suburban Province of Buenos Aires to the neighbouring Sarmiento Park within the central Autonomous City of Buenos Aires. Its design can include diverse activities such as open amphitheatres, recreational areas, and resting spaces.

After the expo, the area will form part of a metropolitan park of almost 200 hectares that will integrate, through the bridge, the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires with the surrounding province.

Contest site: Expo 2023

Contest site: Expo 2023

Contest site: Expo 2023

Where will these buildings sit within the masterplan for the wider site?

The Public Space, Boulevard and Bridge contest is the last of six international ideas competitions for the construction of Expo 2023 buildings. It will provide a central axis that organizes on its sides all of the pavilions of the expo. To one side of the main boulevard will be the Mini Stadium and International Pavilions and also the other International Pavilions complex, which will host the stands of the participating countries (both the subject of competitions launched on 28 May and 4 June respectively). To the other side will be the Thematic Pavilions (the subject of a competition launched on 18 June) and the Argentine Pavilion (the focus of a competition launched on 21 May). Together, these buildings will express the core theme of Expo 2023: Creative Industries in Digital Convergence. At the end of the axis will be the Antenna and Viewpoint (the subject of a competition launched on 11 June), which will provide an urban landmark incorporating all of the telecommunication facilities for the site and providing a ludic walk featuring one or many observation decks allowing visitors to gaze over the entire venue.

Contest site: Expo 2023

Contest site: Expo 2023

Contest site: Expo 2023

How will this competition pose a rewarding challenge for architects?

Expos are events of great impact but short duration which is why one of their most important parts is the legacy they leave in the host city. In this sense, Expo 2023 is conceived not only as a temporary episode but as an integral proposal that leads to an enduring symbolic and physical legacy.

As part of the physical legacy, the venue of the Expo 2023 will become a park of Science and Knowledge. Through the bridge in this competition, this park will be connected to Sarmiento Park, on the other side of the General Paz motorway and in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, thus creating a metropolitan park of nearly 200 hectares that integrates the highly developed urban areas of the city with some of the less favoured areas of the Province of Buenos Aires, positively affecting a region that involves nearly 16 million people.