Bridge of the SeaPhotos and Text Copyright © Alice Joyce
Richard Bofill Design - the Turia - Photo © Alice Joyce
Valencia's bridges add atmosphere and character to each stretch of the Turia gardens:
Turismo Valencia provided an image of Calatrava's famous expanse, Exposition Bridge, but it somehow vanished! Its form is startlingly contemporary, the bright bowed shape playing off the tactile stone wall of the river bed walkway. (The iconic span, affectionately referred to as 'the comb' by locals.)
The old wall embraces the path as Flower Bridge comes into view, a popular pedestrian walkway replanted annually with masses of colorful seasonal blooms. Bofill's Modernist aesthetic characterizes the Turia area linking the 16th century Bridge of the Sea - where a spacious circular pool evokes the river - to the Bridge of the Guardian Angel.
Bofill laid out the parcel in a symmetrical, rectilinear arrangement, softening all the straight lines with a lush green oasis incorporating groves of orange trees. A progression of fountains, set into the ground and enlivened by red tinted walls, produces a refreshing play of water as you move on. The fountains serve as a gateway, announcing the Palace of Music, where concrete colonnades articulate the palace's formal courtyards. Olive trees, emerald lawns, and elaborately patterned carpet bedding emerge, along with a vast reflecting pool that springs to life with water jets synchronized to music coming from the concert hall.
The mirror image of Bofill's design is restated in the path beyond, its soothing geometry leading directly to the City of Arts and Sciences, completed a couple years ago. I'll visit the 'City' in posts to follow.