Valencia – isn’t it shiny?

by robertmcnicol

Hello one and both, so once again I begin with an apology about not having been making posts on here. Dreadful. Just dreadful. And because I’ve been all kinds of busy as of late, I’m afraid you’re getting not shiny new pictures but something I’m recycling from those halcyon days before SP (the equivalent of the spittle in the bottom of someone’s lager. Nice.)

Back in April last year, Missus Flissus and I took a trip to Spanish Spain and saw some fabulous buildings in Valencia. After casually draining a river, the good people of Valencia decided to build an impressive arts & sciences complex. The two major buidings are quite incredible: an enormous, mollusc-like concert hall and a vast, stately science museum; and they’re surrounded by raised walkways, wide shallow pools and plazas – a beautiful public place.

So here they are. Firstly the arts complex:

Seriously. That’s an actual picture – I took it myself. Isn’t it incredible? The thin strip of roof cantilevers right over the building, anchored at just one end and then hanging there at the other. That, coupled with the white sheathing that partially encloses the building, as if stretched into place, give the building an immense tautness. The building also is pretty massive, but with the gaps in its outer shell and under the cantilevered roof, there’s a sense of lightness to the architecture, with slivers of blue ringing around the building.

Then we have the science buildng, a great hall of learning.

Again, a cantilevered, angled roof is used, though unlike the arts complex with its miraculous, floating device, this one is firmly rooted to the ground with a series of tight, vertical pillars (which I think take a cue from those of the Lincoln Center in NYC). To balance the great holes in the sides of the concert hall, which give an appearance of transparency, this building has a full glass shell, that at once completely encloses it and brings the outside in.

They make a great pair, one flambouyant, the other richly grounded. And both are thoroughly unique. Spain, once again, shows that it knows how to build beautiful buildings.