New Zealand - Expo Sevilla 1992

New Zealand at the Exhibition Expo Sevilla 1992
© Juan Pedro Ruiz Castellano
Architect(s) : Peter Hill

The New Zealand pavilion at Expo'92 was designed to surprise and delight - showing the best of New Zealand, the most spectacular of the South Pacific.

Its construction followed that of the Brisbane World's Fair, where New Zealand was described by the media as the city's finest display, a wonderful journey and undoubtedly the great success of Expo'88.

The New Zealand pavilion for Seville was even better. Visitors waiting outside were dominated by a model of the cliffs, a four-storey building. They could see New Zealand from the sea, like the great Maori people and the European explorers who first saw it. The waves licked the rocks and exploded into foam. Fish swam in coves, and seabirds splashed over the spectators.

Then Maoris performed live ancient dances and songs under the cliffs.

Visitors could watch the show from outside, protected by cloud-like canvases and cooled by water misters. They could then walk across a bridge over the waves to enter the New Zealand pavilion through a cave-like entrance hidden among the rocks.

Inside, four rooms were dedicated to New Zealand's past and present, with visitors taking an imaginary double journey back to the 16th century, from Spain to New Zealand, under a dark sky where the stars were made of fibre optics. They could see gigantic sculptures of the great Pacific explorers, from the Maori Kupe to the English Cook.

Visitors were treated to a film that included Maori hymns, folk music and New Zealand opera, and simultaneously to the projection of three ocean adventures on three sail-shaped screens.

Visitors were fascinated by the spectacular New Zealand ceramics, which included a mural of ancient forests, a ceramic Maori canoe and a cascade of earthenware tiles flowing over an eight-metre high balcony.

This was followed by a sequence of images of New Zealand today, via 144 individual rotating screens: a modern society, sophisticated but undamaged by contamination, the land of the All Blacks, Kiri te Kanawa and other masters, the land of exciting sights, quality exports and top quality meat.

Finally, visitors could taste various samples of New Zealand's pure and world-famous gastronomy. They could also travel and see with their own eyes the last frontier and the best region on earth.

© Official Guide Expo'92