The City of Arts and Sciences (Valencian: Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències; Spanish: Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias) is an entertainment-based cultural and architectural complex in the city of Valencia, Spain. It is the most important modern tourist destination in the city of Valencia.

The City of Arts and Sciences is situated at the end of the former riverbed of the river Turia, which was drained and rerouted after a catastrophic flood in 1957. The old riverbed was turned into a picturesque sunken park.

Designed by Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela, the project underwent the first stages of construction in July 1996 and the finished “city” was inaugurated April 16, 1998 with the opening of L’Hemisfèric. The last great component of the City of Arts and Sciences, El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia, was presented on October 9, 2005, Valencian Community Day.
Rita Barberá entrusted the creation of a team that articulated the project and that visited spaces with similar characteristics in Munich, Canada and London, to devise a project of evident pedagogical appearance.

The “City of the Sciences” was the name that the autonomous government gave to the initiative, and plans included a 370m high communications tower, which would have been the third highest one in the world at that time; a planetarium; and the museum of science. The total price of the works was estimated to be about 25,000 million pesetas.

The project did however cause controversy. The Popular Party saw in the City of the Sciences a “work of the pharaohs” that would serve only to swell the ego of the socialists, who were the driving forces behind the initiative.

Santiago Calatrava was born in Valencia, Spain, on 28th of July 1951. He is a qualified architect and engineer and also known for his artist skills in painting and sculpting. He attended the Art Academy in Valencia in the mid-1960s, then he earned a degree in architecture and a post graduate course in city planning at the Escuela Tecnica Superior de Arquitecturea, studied civil engineering at the Federal Polytechnic University of Zurich, and participated in academic research investigating The Foldability of Space Frames. Calatrava’s architecture is aimed to unite structure and movement. Early in his career, Calatrava was the winner to design The Stadelhofen Station in Zurich. He was recognized for his achievement in creating poetics of movement and integrating public transportation in a natural setting and urban context. Another theme in his work was moving contraptions in his buildings. The dome for the Reichstag Conversion Competition in Berlin that open and closes like a flower. The Planetarium in the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia opens and closes like eyelids.

There is, however, a controversy as to the values his work brings its users, especially when observing the usability of public space surrounding his buildings.

Felix Candela was born on January 27, 1910 in Madrid Spain and died December 7, 1997. His architectural designs composed of reinforced-concrete structures distinguished by thin, curved shells. His popularity sprung from his design, in collaboration with Jorge Gonzales Reyna, of the Cosmic Ray Pavilion in Mexico. He used his signature design of the reinforced concrete roof that varies in thickness from only 5/8 inch to 2 inches. He also built the church of La Virgin Milagrosa in Mexico City and the church of San Vicente de Paul. His designs consisted of warped-shell industrial buildings, thin-shell centenary, and barrel-vaulted factories and warehouses. Candela was also a teacher at Harvard University and University of Illinois. Felix Candela designed the underwater city, L’Oceanografic, located in the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia and is reminiscent of Antoni Gaudi work in Barcelona.

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