Veles y Vents
“Veles e vents han mos desigs complir, faent camins dubtosos per la mar. Mestre i ponent contra d’ells veig armar; xaloc, llevant, los deuen subvenir ab llurs amics lo grec e lo migjorn, fent humils precs al vent tramuntanal que en son bufar los sia parcial e que tots cinc complesquen mon retorn.”
“I shall return: the winds shall swell my sails, I’ll set a course of danger through the sea. Not caring West and North-West winds take arms; Levanter with Sirocco will hold firm helped by their allies, North-Eastern and Midi, who humbly will entreat the great North wind to stay its blasts, so favouring their cause that all five together may bring me back.”
The Veles e Vents building is named after the poem of the same name by the fifteenth-century Valencian poet Ausiàs March, the most prominent figure of the Golden Age of Valencia. The poem tells the story of the author’s journey from Italy to Valencia in search of his beloved. During the trip, he encounters great dangers and invokes the power of the wind to help him reach dry land.
The Veles e Vents building is an innovative architectural proposal from the prestigious architects David Chipperfield and Fermín Vázquez. It was built to accommodate the guests and spectators of the 32nd America’s Cup and has become, without a doubt, an icon of the competition across the city of Valencia. In 2007, the building won the LEAF Award, a prestigious European architectural prize.
Located on the banks of the canal, the building covers approximately 11,000 square metres and consists of four concrete floors which seem to be floating in mid-air, giving a feeling of weightlessness. Open platforms overlap by way of wooden terraces of different sizes connected by external stairs. The large glass coatings enhance the elegant, minimalist design of the building and make it a vantage point with great views of the city, the harbour and the events and competitions which take place in La Marina, such as the F1 and the regattas.
The Veles e Vents terrace is an extension of the same building and was conceived as an educational, leisure and meeting area, occupying around 15,000 square metres. Several ramps connect these platforms with the lower promenade, consisting of the final connection of La Marina with Malvarrosa beach. The terrace extension is an outdoor space with many international restaurants and entertainment venues.
The underground car park is located under the terrace and has capacity of 800 vehicles. The Veles e Vents building is situated opposite the main access from the beach to La Marina and is the ideal setting for all kinds of events. It can be used partially or in its entirety by renting individual rooms and terraces.
The dry docks were built in the early twentieth century, at the beginning of a period of great construction activity in the Port of Valencia, when the warehouses, the Maritime Station, the rails and the urbanisation were all built. They were located on the so-called Varadero Dock, next to the railroad tracks. Construction began in 1914 and consisted of two docks, one for public use and one for port vessels and works. Each consisted of three sections, the central one with just one ground floor for the engine room and two sides sections of two floors, for offices, tools and rooms for the guardian and the head of the dock. The adornment combines modernist and historical elements.
In 1989, a restoration project was designed given the precarious state and quality of the original materials. The original building was demolished and reconstructed. The new building retains the same external appearance, with a symmetrical rectangular base and two floors. It is currently composed of:
The side towers: made of reinforced concrete, accessible by its north façade, as it was originally. The building has a ground floor, first floor, second floor and roof top, without access to it from the inside.
The central zone: metal structure, consisting of ground floor, first floor and roof top. The façade is made of red brick, cast stone and woodwork glazed with clear glass.
The building is an icon of Valencian modernist architecture, with fully restored façade and interiors. Opposite the Customs Access, there is an elegant reception area by the entrance, numerous rooms and offices equipped with all necessary services for the establishment of businesses and a large terrace with views spanning the entire Inner Harbour.
Tinglados - Warehoses
In 1911, construction began on the Port of Valencia’s warehouses. The plans were already prepared and had been awaiting execution since 1895 due to a lack of funding and differences of opinion. Once started, construction was completed in 1912. At that time, the Chief Engineer of the Port of Valencia was José María Fuster, who was overseeing the construction of the warehouses, although the author and driving force behind the project was the engineer Federico G. de Membrillera, deputy director of the Port of Valencia at that time.
The construction of the metal parts of the deposits numbered 1, 4, 5 and 6 was awarded to Maquinista Terrestre y Marítima, while numbers 2 and 3 were built by Material para Ferrocarriles y Construcciones, both manufacturers from Barcelona.
Although engineers demanded that adornment should be paramount, the lack of budget at that time meant that the project was simplified and carried out without the structures in the design plans. Despite this, the modernist decor stands out with reliefs alluding to trade and navigation and polychrome ceramic mosaics featuring traditional Valencian themes such as oranges, grapes and other fruits.
The six warehouses commissioned by the Port of Valencia were built due to the continued increase in freight traffic. They were designed to save and store the unloaded materials, mainly vegetables and grain, sheltering them from the cold and damp conditions.
Today, just Warehouse 2, located next to the Clock Building, and Warehouses 4 and 5, behind the South Bases, are still standing.
The large glass facade building with stunning views of the Inner Harbour, has three floors connected by elevator, escalators and stairways, both indoors and outdoors.
During the celebration of the America’s Cup, the building was renovated to house the press center of the competition by providing it with all the equipment and technology needed for dozens of media professionals to conduct their daily job from these facilities.
It also housed several work and meeting rooms of various sizes, media connection and restoration areas.
The upper floors have several spaces equipped to house offices, business meetings with clients and areas suitable to dining.