Explicating Failure: Expo 2000

Open Access
Jones, Zachary Mark
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Architecture
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • James Newton Wines, Thesis Supervisor
  • Christine Lee Gorby, Honors Advisor
  • Scott W Wing, Faculty Reader
  • mega events
  • abandonment
  • reuse
  • architecture
  • Hannover
  • Germany
Why do we keep making the same mistakes? Olympics, World Expositions, and other mega events cost billions of dollars, yet their life spans are drastically short. Ranging from 14 days to 6 months, these massively expensive and publicized events find themselves the center of the world’s attention, yet what happens when the crowds leave and the cameras are turned off? A startling high percentage of these event sites lay in waste within a year of their use. After a decade many are completely abandoned and have had no long term impact on the communities they were intended to rejuvenate. In spite of these results, mega events continue to be held, in even higher numbers than in the past. This thesis examines the remains of a specific site, the Expo 2000, in Hannover, Germany. The project works to understand the specific failures that occurred here and its deterioration over the last 10 years. The project addresses the specific issue of the waste that remains at the expo as well as the need to alter future behavior. The program is a recycling facilitation center that will work to deconstruct the remaining pavilions, but to do so in a way that will eliminate waste and salvage as much material as possible. The education aspect of the project comes through its transformation into a ‘cemetery.’ As a park, the designed remnants of the pavilions will act as memorials of the expo as well as a reminder to future generations of the need to learn from these mistakes and the many failures of these events. The driving guides of the project are derived from William McDonough’s Hannover Principles, the intended, but unused, design guidelines for the Expo 2000.