Address: Pont de Monteolivet 1 | VALENCIA | Spain | Visit Website
Latitude/Longitude: 39.4567, -0.35394
The Hemisferic, the distinctive eye-shaped construction designed by Santiago Calatrava, was the first element to be opened to the public in the City of Arts and Sciences, in April 1998.The building’s unique architecture comes alive as the lids of the colossal “Eye of Knowledge” opens up to reveal the fascinating setting.
The globe of L’Hemisfèric (the Planetarium), which also houses the Omnimax theater, is roofed over by an elliptical shell structure and placed within an elliptical pod that cradles it like the pupil of an eye. The L’Hemisfèric is set slightly below grade to avoid visual conflict with the Science Museum and Palacio de las Artes.
The concrete socket of the eye incorporates elongated aluminium awnings that differ in length and fold upwards collectively, or as individual units, to form a brise-soleil roof that opens along the curved central axis of the eye shape. The concrete encasement has been extended upwards, and the brise-soleil narrowed and replaced by a system of slats mounted on each side of pivoting, to imitate the structure of a feather. The brise-soleil is moved hydraulically up the outside of the structure by telescoping cylinders.A set of stairs descends into the vaulted concrete lobby from an axial path that splices the City of Arts and Sciences in half. Translucent glass panels embedded in the path allow light into the underground spaces and demarcate the axis through the center of the Planetarium. The walkway also connects to the sunken gallery, formed by the prefabricated, concrete arches that support the transparent roof, which in turn houses ticket booths, a restaurant and other services.
⇒ Architecture Guide to VALENCIA
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