Agora by Santiago Calatrava in Valencia
Valencia is the home to many new architectural projects which will continue to position it among the most architecturally avant-garde destinations. The most recent project is the Agora that is designed by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava and situated in the City of Arts and Science in the City of Valencia.
This building is conceived as a multi-purpose centre, to serve both as a meeting point and rest area for citizens and visitors as well as a venue for social activities and sports events, as the Tennis Open 500, where the best international players pick up their racquets and battle it out in a spectacular setting every year. Another important project is ARTeria Valencia, a unique complex designed by architect Antón García Abril which will combine functionality, aesthetics, tradition and innovation.
The building, the European campus of Berklee Music College, will be 27 storeys high, erected on a two-floor horizontal base and reaching a maximum height of 100 meters. The two-floor base will house an auditorium with over 1,400 seats and a residence area for students and teachers. This unique building will contain a public area, with a capacity for 10,000 people. Valencia CF will open its new stadium soon.
The new Mestalla stadium, designed by Mark Fenwick and situated near the Palacio de Congresos, will have a capacity for 75,000 spectators and an underground car park with 3,500 parking spaces. Another project which will have a major impact on the city is the Parque Central (Central Park). This new space will be located on the old train tracks and allow this part of the city to be joined together by turning it into an extensive green area. It will also be the site of the future AVE central station. As for the seafront, Valencia is preparing for the expansion of the Juan Carlos I Royal Marina, the result of an international competition in which over 50 architects from all over the world competed. The finalists were Jean Nouvel with José Ribas, Valencia architect José María Tomás Llavador and the German GMP International Architects studio. These three teams will give shape to over one million square meters, including the area of the Grao district, the mouth of the Turia riverbed and the area surrounding the inner harbour. The project consists of a large green area next to the sea, where two 50-storey buildings rising 170 meters high will give the Royal Marina a new and modern feel.
Over the last few years, an excellent pool of young designers has been forming in Valencia whose work is now gaining international recognition. CuldeSac, Sure Design, Erreqerre, Lilou and Odosdesign are some examples of the innate creativity in Valencia. Over 50 galleries are spread around the city to allow art to be enjoyed in its purest form.
In architecture, Valencia has been chosen by a number of prestigious architects such as Norman Foster, Jean Nouvel and David Chipperfield as the site for some of their works. Valencia is also home to a healthy selection of local professionals, including José María Tomás Llavador, recently honoured in the international competition that will define Valencia’s future marina. Vicente Guallart, creator of Sociópolis, and Ramón Esteve also rank among Valencia’s most interesting architects.