as the final element in the City of Arts and Sciences complex , the Valencia
Opera House (Palau de les Arts) has been designed as a series of apparently
random volumes, which become unified through their enclosure within two
symmetrical, cut-away concrete shells. These forms are crowned by a sweeping
steel sheath, which projects axially from the entrance concourse out over
the uppermost contours of the curvilinear envelope. The structure that
results defines the identity of the Opera House, dramatically enhancing its
symbolic and dynamic effect within the landscape, while offering protection
to the terraces and facilities beneath.
The different volumes of the
building are stacked between horizontal promenade decks, which cantilever
off the side of the structure. The central core is occupied by the fully
air-conditioned auditorium of the 1,300-seat opera house, which is set
within an acoustically shaped shell embedded within the cluster.
Also housed in the central core are
the scenery module and lifting mechanisms for the stage and orchestra pit of
the main auditorium. A smaller auditorium, conceived mainly for chamber
music, seats 400, while a large auditorium to the east, partially protected
beneath the open shell, seats 2,000.
Further events can be staged at various locations set among the volumes. For
the open performance areas, the roof and defining walls enclosing the
complex have an acoustical function, while a glass-covered, insulated
rehearsal area is provided above the chamber music hall.
The facilities are connected to a
music school situated along the southern periphery of the site, which also
houses smaller, individual practice spaces and administration areas.
The Opera House will provide
Valencia with a major performing arts facility and a dynamic, monumental
Client: Generalitat Valenciana