As if brought back from another time and another world, the City of Arts and Sciences has become the image of Valencia to the rest of the world.
Having a hometown with an impressive and photogenic architectural complex like the City of Arts and Sciences is a great advantage for amateur photographers. There is not a week that goes by that I do not go at least once loaded with a pair of cameras to try to get that angle that I missed or have left for another occasion.
The building complex is built on what was originally the bed of the Turia River, which crossed the city and that was diverted after the great flood of 1957 that devastated Valencia. In 1980, it was converted into a garden and today is the lung of the city.
The buildings that make up the complex are:
· L’Hemispheric: first building opened in 1998 and designed by Santiago Calatrava. Eye-shaped and even has his “eyes” that open and close. It is an IMAX theater with a projection surface of 900 square meters.
·Prince Felipe Museum of Sciences: opened in November 13, 2000, and also designed by Santiago Calatrava, is an interactive museum dedicated to science, technology, and environmental conservation. Personally, it is the building of the complex that I like the most, with that aspect of whale or dinosaur skeleton.
· L’Oceanographic: designed by architect Félix Candela and engineers Domingo and Carlos Alberto Lázaro, it was inaugurated in December 12, 2002 and is the largest aquarium in Europe. It reproduced different marine habitats, occupying an area of 110,000 square meters, and houses a total of 42 million liters of water.
· Queen Sofia Palace of Arts : the work of Santiago Calatrava, it was inaugurated in October 8, 2005. Noted for its large deck wheel and is very similar to the Tenerife Auditorium also designed by Calatrava.
· L’Assut de l’Or Bridge: Opened to traffic in December 2008 after long years of construction and remodeling project, it is also designed by Santiago Calatrava. It is also popularly known (because of it similarity) as the “Ham”.
· L’Umbracle: This is an urban garden, designed by Santiago Calatrava. It has excellent views to the other buildings in the complex. Today, it houses an exhibition on dinosaurs that is enjoyed by children.
· The Agora: Also a work by Santiago Calatrava. Although not yet finished its construction. It currently lacks movable covers that will regulate the entry of light. It’s been in use since November 2009.
In addition to these existing buildings, there are plans for the future construction of three impressive skyscrapers, Las Torres Valencia, Castellón, and Alicante, 308 m, 266 m and 220 m. The models of these can be seen in the Principe Felipe Museum. Currently this project (also by Santiago Calatrava) is completely paralyzed and there is little chance that it will be carried forward.