Awarded “International Special Recognition” during this year’s Coverings Installation & Design (CID) Awards, Pabellón Agora Valencia by Arqueha + Miguel Arraiz is a striking architectural structure that pays homage to the past, present and future of Spanish design.
Nestled in the heart of Spain’s vibrant city of Valencia, the pavilion was constructed as a symbolic gift, celebrating the city’s distinction as the 2022 World Design Capital. Appointed bi-annually by the World Design Organization® (WDO), this prestigious award acknowledges cities worldwide for their effective use of design in fostering economic, social, cultural and environmental progress.
Tasked with crafting a public space that honors Valencia’s iconic architecture and diverse landscapes, lead architect Miguel Arraiz conceived a setting that would unite the community while recounting the story of the city’s rich history and distinct design. To convey this message, Arraiz utilized sustainable building practices, natural resources and locally sourced materials to craft this architectural masterpiece.
Poised within Valencia’s Plaza del Ayuntamiento, the Agora commands attention with its grand scale and intricate framework. Encompassing an impressive 350 square meters, the project features an open facade comprised of ceramic-like panels, arranged in a meticulous lattice-inspired configuration. These panels, developed by Inalco and Wandegar, are composed of MDi, an innovative surface crafted from 50% recycled materials that are sourced from its own production process. A highly sustainable product, MDi’s manufacturing method also conserves 70% of water waste, eliminating the need for solvents.
The roof of the pavilion maintains the theme of sustainability and celebration of local culture. Crafted by master carpenter, Manolo García, the vast covering is comprised of wood rafters, woven in a traditional “Vareta” method—a technique in which fine wooden strips are used to reproduce the shape of the object they reflect. Mimicking the rolling waves of the Mediterranean Sea, García embodies the sea’s natural movement and picturesque surrounding.
By seamlessly integrating sustainable materials, “Vareta” artistry and the harmonizing forces of natural elements such as sunlight and ocean breeze, Pabellón Agora Valencia stands as a vivid reminder of the city’s historical roots, progressive innovation and cultural unity. It encapsulates the essence of Spanish design, boldly embodying its multifaceted narrative within an architectural marvel.