In its final conception Calatrava's "arms" will offer their true meaning of welcome, meeting and union with citizens around an imposing Palace for the new times.
The Valencian architect, who received the Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts in 1999, believes that his new work will update the beautiful Asturian city "echoing an era and a beginning of the century."
Oviedo finds in this space a new reference. A graceful structure despite the thousands of tons of material used, which distills atmospheric lightness and infinite perspectives and symmetries when it is carefully observed and perimetrally traversed.
Inside, the visual translations are similar, abundant in views and contraviews, loaded with profiles and with an unusual softness between the great blocks of the immense layman. The Palace allows different panoramic views of the interior thanks to the stepped heights.
Out is a gigantic viewpoint of the city, offering innovative balconies to the Oviedo skyline. In all cases, it conveys the sensation of being a great work of engineering, a work that has been taken to the technical extreme and that allows the self-modification of its forms, like a living organism that seeks vital accommodation according to external conditions.
What is in the Congress Palace of Oviedo?
A new reference we said; new for modern but also for unprecedented in the Asturian capital. Oviedo enters the vanguard of urban architecture with this space designed to house three different uses in one set:
1 / The congress hall Princess Letizia, is part of the main building and is distributed over two floors that house a smaller room, rooms for conferences and multipurpose uses, and a larger room, measuring 4.510 square metres, with a capacity for 2.500 people. This installation is ovoid in shape and is arranged on a semi-enclosed square. As conceived by Santiago Calatrava, it gives the impression of "floating on water". This central part of the work has a mobile cover, a giant visor made up of several dozen large elements, «nerves» or «ribs» of white steel (the characteristic color of the Valencian architect), some fixed and others mobile that can be tilted thanks to a hydraulic system, allowing a greater entry of light and a modification of the exterior appearance of the Palace.
2 / A five-star hotel, of 15.800 square meters, located in the southern part of the plot and consisting of three floors and 150 rooms.
3 / An area of administrative services of the Principality, that welcomes the headquarters of the Ministries in its east and west wings and that occupies a surface of 11.000 square meters
The magnitude of the construction also provides space for an underground parking area with 2.100 spaces and a lobby that exceeds 2500 square meters. The U-shaped building that crowns the structure and surrounds the Palace is raised about 30 meters from the ground by a complex of steel frames.
Text: © Ramón Molleda for asturias.com