Planetarium/IMAX theater
City of Arts and Sciences
Valencia, Spain

Photos courtesy Santiago Calatrava archives

The Planetarium/IMAX theater resembles a human eye, set within a 24,000 m2 pool.  The ³pupil² is the hemispherical dome of the IMAX theater, which is transformed into a globe through its reflection in the pool.  The concrete socket of the eye incorporates an ³eyelid² of vertical, articulated metal slats, which can be raised to permit views across the pool.  A sunken gallery, formed by the prefabricated concrete arches that support the roof, houses ticket booths, a restaurant and other services. Set slightly below grade to avoid visual conflict with the Science Museum and Opera House, the Planetarium is entered through the axial walkway, which surrounds the building and is connected to the gallery.

Client: Generalitat Valenciana