Valencia is Spain’s third largest city, and the Valencia Parque Central project site covers the central urban area affected by major changes to the current rail system and the arrival of high speed rail trains. The new 23-hectare public central park is created by tunnelling the existing railway lines, and is one of Valencia’s most important re-development projects to date.
The competition-winning design celebrates the landscape and culture of the region ‒ and builds on Valencia’s unique location between distinctive ecological habitats: the Turía River reserve, the agricultural plain (La Huerta), the Albufera natural park and the Mediterranean Sea ‒ resulting in its role as a major European trading and cultural centre throughout history.
Ceramic bowls are traditionally used to store and cook food. Inspired by these traditions, the concept of the bowls symbolises the unifying gesture of the new park, with water as the unifying design theme. The park’s form represents a series of bowls ‒ each of them holds art, activities and events, people, diverse landscapes, history and cultural memories. Water bodies and features, landforms, plants and the refurbished existing buildings are the design elements used to articulate and distinguish between the unique individual bowls.