Architectural wonder in Valencia - the Science Museum
As an architect at heart, I will always look at the world in a certain way or with a different mindset than most, simply due to my training. Because of that, when visiting cities, places or buildings, I tend to enjoy them on a deeper level. An example of this is the case of the Science Museum in Valencia, a place on my "Architectural bucket list" as I like to joke about it.
In the last blog post, I promised to share with you this wonderful place, and that is exactly what we'll do today. We are going to explore the Science Museum in Valencia.
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Built by the talented architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava in 2000, the museum has a lot to offer: temporary exhibitions on different subjects such as electricity, design, medicine, even dinosaurs and an interactive space made about of tens of individual small exhibits (some of which you can try out for yourself). Hand to heart, it was the most fun I had in a museum in a long time. It's worth the 8€ ticket just for that part.
If you did not know, Santiago Calatrava is coming to London to build an amazing space near the O2 Arena in North Greenwich. You can see all about it here, it's going to look stunning! I for one, cannot wait to see it built.
But let's get back to the building itself.
Inspired by the skeleton of a whale, the building's impressive exterior, interior and structure are truly a work of wonder, especially from an engineering point of view (engineers will love me for saying that).
The museum has around 40.000 sq metres divided between 3 floors, with one of them being more of an indoor balcony, overlooking different exhibitions. It spreads over 220 metres in length, 80m wide and 55 metres in height.
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In Architecture, it is particularly difficult to create big spaces (in length, depth and height) that are not constrained in any way by columns. Columns have to purpose of support for any building's interior structure. Or think of it this way, columns are the equivalent of the human feet. Besides giving us the ability to walk, our legs have the purpose of supporting the weight of our body. If by any chance they give in, we fall down. The same thing happens with the columns inside of a building (they are not the only ones who contribute to this but they are an important part). That's why it's important to have them in order to have stability.
So when you walk freely inside an enormous space (with a good few numbers of columns that you'd have expected) like the Science Museum in Valencia, you cannot help but feel amazed at the volume of the space. Now if you are a fan of architecture, architect or engineer, you'll most likely feel other things too (besides being overly impressed). It's worth a visit I'm telling you.
Now, the most impressive and breath taking part of the museum are, of course, the galleries, which are these 55 metres height glass windows that allow a big chunk of natural light to come inside the museum. Purposely done so, you start your journey by following the first floor exhibitions in a semi darkened (deprived of too much light) atmosphere, only to come out the other side in an enormous gallery space where you can literally sun bathe in natural light. It is a memorable experience, and Calatrava knew exactly what he was doing when he designed this space.
This is a space that no matter how many photos you see, it's still breath taking when seen live, so I really recommend the experience. And the admission price is really not that big. From 8€ per ticket you get more than you bargained for. It's really worth it. Even if you are not into architecture and all that jazz.
There is something for everybody here (especially for any design and architecture lovers)! You'll really enjoy (or geek out like I did) the models showing different stages of Calatrava's projects, which explain how the buildings evolved from the initial idea to how they are at the moment.
Remember, the Science Museum is part of a larger campus if you will, called the City of Science, which is composed of 6 buildings: the Art Museum, the Hemisphere, the Science Museum, the Agora, the Umbracle and the Oceanographic (the largest aquarium in Europe). So yes, geek away. I am not going to show everything for you might want to go and experience this wonderful place on your own, but just to give you a little taste...
The beauty of this museum is that no matter where you are, inside or outside, there is always a new angle to be seen. In the morning or in the afternoon, the light shines completely different on the building and it's surroundings. So even if you don't feel like visiting the museum, you can still have a beautiful visual experience from outside and for FREE!
That's it detail lovers - the Science Museum in Valencia. Well its shell anyway, because it's really worth visiting the exhibitions, especially those that live on the 3rd floor. Spoiler - they're really fun and engaging. I won't say anything else about it, you'll need to go and find out more for yourself.
Have you been there already or planing to go? Do let me know your experience below or on our Facebook Page or on Instagram. Just tap @detailmovement and leave me a message. I would love to know how you enjoyed the space and what are your thoughts about it.
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All images that are credited as '©Detail Movement', are done by Raluca Vaduva for Detail Movement. All rights reserved. All pictures that are not my own, I credit them to the best of my knowledge & research, to their online sources. I do not claim ownership over them in any way.