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The 75 meter tall Palacio de las Artes covers an area of 40,000 square meters. The Centre was conceived as a series of random volumes which become unified through their enclosure within two symmetrical, cut-away concrete shells, and are crowned by a sweeping steel sheath that projects axially from the entrance concourse out over the uppermost contours of the curvilinear envelope. The resultant structure defines the identity of the Palacio de las Artes, dramatically enhancing its symbolic and dynamic effect as a signal in the landscape, while offering protection to the terraces and facilities beneath.
The Palacio de las Artes behind one of the two new Calatrava designed bridges that crosses the Promenade.
The different volumes are stacked between the horizontal promenade decks cantilevered off the side of the structure. The central core is occupied by the technical facilities – the scenery module and lifting mechanisms for the stage and orchestra pit – of the opera house, and its fully air-conditioned auditorium, which seats 1300, is set within an acoustically shaped shell embedded within the cluster.
A smaller auditorium, conceived mainly for chamber music concerts, seats 400, while a large auditorium to the east, partially protected beneath the open shell, can seat 2000. Further events can be staged at various locations set amongst 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 to the west.
Contributed by ArchiTeam