Alameda Bridge and Metro Station
Valencia, Spain
1991 - 95

Photos courtesy Santiago Calatrava archives


Throughout history, the River Turia has defined the identity of Valencia.
Following the walls of the old city, the river flowed into the delta marshland, which served as a natural southern boundary.  But the Turia was prone to frequent flooding and would devastate wide areas, despite the impressive walls of the Masonic guild. After massive flooding in 1957, the river was finally diverted, and the resulting tract of land has been developed as a linear park that runs through the city.

While planning a new subway system, with three lines that link peripheral towns to central Valencia, the city authorities initiated a five-part competition for a prototypical subway entrance, a prototypical twin-platform station, the terminus at Palmaret, and the Alameda station and bridge.
The Alameda station was to be an important node on the subway where two lines meet beneath the Turia riverbed.

Externally, the subway is expressed as a paved and translucent glass surface, punctuated by a series of protruding, angled skylights. The approaches to the subway are from either side of the embankment, via ramps and stairs that lead down to the plaza. The platforms can be reached via elevators, housed in the buttresses of the bridge, and via escalators and stairs that are accessed through mechanical doors. When open the doors frame the entrances, when closed they are flush with the paving, thus sealing the station.

At night, light filters up through the glass inlays to gently illuminate the bridge. A simple local cladding. made of broken white tiles, is used for the wall surfaces. Below grade the walls are hollow core to prevent groundwater seepage.  The distinctiveness of the Alameda Bridge and the Metro Station, combined with the void of the riverbed, create a singular urban experience.

Total length of bridge: 148 meters.

Client: Regional Government of Valencia.