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Ruiz-Geli will transform Calatrava’s Agora at the Valencia CaixaForum


In 2020 the La Caixa network of culture centres will have its ninth node. The banking foundation recently presented the project for the Valencia CaixaForum, which in this case will occupy an existing building, the Agora designed by Santiago Calatrava in the City of Arts and Sciences. From a total of 9 proposals, the project chosen by the foundation is the one by the Catalan architect Enric Ruiz-Geli, director of Cloud 9 practice, who chose to respect the essence of the original building.

Like the insides of a whale, the empty Agora space will maintain its protagonist role in the new building. The structure designed by Calatrava is constituted as a great shell, which shelters the different pieces that comprise the programme of the new CaixaForum, a set of volumes in different shapes and materials that configure a varied architectural ecosystem of an organic nature. Situated at the centre is a platform of neutral lines intended for the centre’s two great exhibition rooms. Above it, a kind of flying saucer will host family activities. In one of the ends is a raised volume that will house a 300-seater auditorium, with the reception and bookshop in the other end in a lighter structure raised above palm-shaped pillars. In addition, in a lateral next to the exhibition rooms will be a restaurant with its own independent entrance. The resulting void is conceived as a resting, relationship and contemplation space and will be equipped with large grandstands facing the exhibition rooms.

The works for the new fit-out will start in the second half of 2018 and, according to the forecast of La Caixa Foundation, will be completed by 2020. By then, and after an investment of 18 million euros, Valencia will be ready to inaugurate a new culture centre covering more than 6500 square metres.


Empordà, 12
17730 Llers, Girona. Spain

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