2000 Hannover
BIE-classUniversal exposition
NameExpo 2000
Building(s)Expo 2000 DachHolzkonstruktion
Area160 hectares (400 acres)
Coordinates52°19′18″N 9°48′44″E / 52.32167°N 9.81222°E / 52.32167; 9.81222
Awarded14 June 1990 (1990-06-14)
Opening1 June 2000 (2000-06-01)
Closure31 October 2000 (2000-10-31)
Universal expositions
PreviousExpo '98 in Lisbon
NextExpo 2005 in Aichi
Specialized expositions
PreviousExpo '98 in Lisbon
NextExpo 2008 in Zaragoza
Horticultural expositions
PreviousExpo '99 in Kunming
NextExpo 2002 in Haarlemmermeer

Expo 2000 was a World Expo held in Hanover, Germany from 1 June to 31 October 2000. It was located on the Hanover Fairground (Messegelände Hannover), which is the largest exhibition ground in the world. Initially some 40 million people were expected to attend the exhibition over the course of months; however, eventually with less than half of this number, the Expo was a flop and turned out to be a financial failure.[2][3][4][5][6]

The Expo's masterplan was designed in a joint venture with Studio d'Arnaboldi / Cavadini, Locarno and AS&P (Albert Speer und Partner GmbH).



On 14 June 1990, the international organization sanctioning World Expos Bureau International des Expositions awarded Expo 2000 to Hanover, beating out Toronto by a 21 to 20 vote. In 1992, the architects Studio Arnaboldi/Cavadini of Locarno won an international design competition for the masterplan of the exhibition grounds. On 12 June that year, a survey conducted by the city council was made public showing only 51.5% of area residents supported hosting the expo.


On 5 May 1994, a new company was created by the government in Bonn, Gesellschaft zur Vorbereitung und Durchführung der Weltausstellung EXPO 2000 in Hannover (EXPO 2000 Hannover GmbH). Headed by chairman Helmut Werner, the company was responsible for the construction and management of the Expo.

In 1995, the supervisory board agreed on the concept for the thematics of the Expo. Construction finally began on 22 April 1996.

Unlike previous expos, which focused on present advances in science and technology, EXPO 2000 focused more on developing and presenting solutions for the future.

World Expo 2000

The Expo opened to the public on 1 June 2000 and ran for five months, ending on 31 October.

The Expo site was situated on the original 1,000,000 square meters of the Hanover fairground; an additional 600,000 m² was also made available as a newly opened section to the grounds. As a visitor walked in and tickets were taken, looking above to the approximately four-story-high ceiling, a visitor would have noticed the huge circular pods that held large TVs showing animated people greeting the visitors and providing tourist information in different languages. Some ten large McDonald's restaurants were also built, along with restaurants representing several of the exhibitor countries. Small retail locations were also set up to supply Expo merchandise. The United States reversed its decision to take part at a relatively late stage, and the area set aside for the American pavilion was left undeveloped.

40,000,000 visitors were expected at Expo 2000, but only 25,210,000 people came to see the event. This led to a financial deficit of about $600,000,000. With pre-ordered tickets priced at 69 DM, the Expo seemed expensive compared to other days out. Commentator Georg Giersberg wrote in the Frankfurter Allgemeine that entrance fees for Germany's 53 main theme parks cost on average less than half the price of the Expo (about 30 DM). Other financial shortfalls came from a lack of corporate sponsorship, since it cost US$4.8 million to be an official product supplier or US$14.5 million to become a world partner.

Part of the failure of the Expo was a lack of clear perception of what to expect at Expo 2000, not helped by a "cerebral" advertising campaign that had failed to explain what the Expo was for. In a 2000 Time article, a Berlin-based marketing firm, Scholz & Friends, stated that "the organizers have failed to convey to the public a clear image of what Expo 2000 is going to be: an entertainment park, a blown-up museum, or a nature reserve." In the same article, Ralf Strobach, secretary of Hanover's Citizens' Initiative for Environment Protection, said that "For a long time, companies were unsure if they would be putting money in an eco-show or a showcase for their latest inventions." Only after the Expo was open and clearly not meeting expectations was a new advertising campaign created, aimed at the domestic market with British actor Peter Ustinov and German television star Verona Feldbusch and stressing the fun side of the Expo, under the slogan "Das gibt's nur einmal, es kommt nie wieder" ("This only happens once, it's never coming back").

The German band Kraftwerk created a vocoded speech signature theme, "Expo 2000", which was also developed into a single of the same name. Later, a remix single "Expo Remix" was released. The band was also paid US$190,000 for a five-second jingle, leading Chancellor Gerhard Schröder to state that he "wouldn't have spent so much money".


The western slope of Kronsberg emerged in the late 1990s in conjunction with the EXPO 2000, established an environmental point of settlement at the Hannover Expo. The district is a result of independent evolutionary history and unique structure often perceived as a separate district.




This section's use of external links may not follow Wikipedia's policies or guidelines. Please improve this article by removing excessive or inappropriate external links, and converting useful links where appropriate into footnote references. (April 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

In total, 155 nations took part. Some are outlined below:




Glass sculpture "United Earth" by Tomasz Urbanowicz from EXPO 2000, rebuilt in the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
The Nepal Himalaya Pavilion from the Expo 2000, rebuilt with a small botanical garden at Wiesent near Regensburg

Some of the buildings on the Expo site were sold after EXPO 2000 ended, but most of the exhibition area is still used for major fairs in Germany, as it has been since 1949. The southeastern area around Expo Plaza has been turned into Hanover's new centre of information technology, design, media and arts.

Most of the national pavilion buildings were demolished, or disassembled and shipped to their home countries, following the Expo. Some buildings were retained, including the Netherlands Pavilion.[12] The structure has now fallen into disrepair, until earlier in December 2017, when architecture company MVRDV announced plans to restore and renovate the Netherlands pavilion to accommodate future users.[13]

A glass sculpture called "United Earth" by Tomasz Urbanowicz exhibited as part of the Lower Silesian Presentation in the Polish Pavillion[14] was later handed over by the City of Wrocław to the European Parliament in Strasbourg.[15] The sculpture is the main central point of the Agora of the Louise Weiss building designed by Architecture-Studio.

See also


  1. ^ SPIEGEL, Claus Hecking, DER (24 September 2014). "Expo 2000 in Hannover: Was wurde aus der Weltausstellung?". Der Spiegel.((cite news)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ Antje Sirleschtov; Imre Grimm (21 July 2000). "Expo-Flop: Die Sponsoren der Weltausstellung werden nervös" [Expo-Flop: The Sponsors of the World Exhibition are getting Nervous]. Der Tagesspiegel (in German).
  3. ^ Hilke Janssen (28 April 2010). Rob Mudge (ed.). "Revisiting Hanover 10 years after Expo 2000". Deutsche Welle.
  4. ^ Jones, Zachary Mark (May 2011). Explicating Failure: Expo 2000 (Bachelor of Architecture). Penn State University.
  5. ^ Forgey, Benjamin (27 May 2000). "World-Class Failure". The Washington Post.
  6. ^ Carol J. Williams (1 June 2000). "Is German Expo a failure even before it gets started?". The Seattle Times – via Los Angeles Times.
  7. ^ "ZIME". Retrieved 20 April 2016.
  8. ^ "Monaco 2000 - Monaco Inter Expo". Retrieved 16 November 2011.
  9. ^ Hatje Cantz (2000). Architektur Architecture EXPO 2000 Hannover. p. 168. ISBN 3-7757-0924-X.
  10. ^ "Expo 2000 (Hannover): Venezuelan Pavilion". Archived from the original on 5 August 2013. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
  11. ^ "Bertelsmann website". Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  12. ^ "Expo 2000". www.mvrdv.com. MVRDV architects.
  13. ^ "Expo Pavillon 2.0". www.mvrdv.com. MVRDV architects.
  14. ^ Durczak, Mirosław (2000-12-31). "Region Dolny Śląsk nr 8/2000, Wydanie Milenijne" [In Hanover, Lower Silesia at the EXPO 2000] (PDF). Region Dolny Śląsk (in Polish). Stowarzyszenie na Rzecz Promocji Dolnego Śląska. 8/2000: 27–29. ISSN 1506-2929 – via Wrocław: Stowarzyszenie na Recz Promocji Dolnego Śląska.
  15. ^ "Wyborcza.pl". wroclaw.wyborcza.pl. Retrieved 2020-04-16.