Valencia Arena terraces to tower above rest



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Spain Arena Valencia update from Carlos de La Barrera July 2021 Image: HOK

HOK is a global design, architecture, engineering, and planning firm and its employees collaborate across a network of 24 offices in three continents. HOK’s London studio creates award-winning design, architecture, engineering, and planning solutions.

Carlos de La Barrera, Senior Associate, HOK, speaks from an architect’s perspective and shares valuable inputs exclusive to ‘Coliseum’ on the under-construction Valencia Arena in Spain – the design of which has been lent by HOK.

The under-construction Valencia Arena will host up to 18,600 spectators and open in 2023. The €220 million venue for the City of Valencia in Spain will include unique premium spaces that embrace the Mediterranean climate.

The Valencia Arena in Spain will come complete with stadium, building and design as Carlos de La Barrera puts in, “The arena will boast football fields, a basketball field and the venue will remain connected on both sides of the street as well as on both sides of the highway so that it becomes a full circle sport circuit and everything flows within the arena. The arena will boast three layers of terraces.”
 

Soothing weather

The weather in Valencia has a very soothing effect and once the arena gets off the ground, the place which visitors would love to frequent is the terraces of the facility and Barrera stated that exquisite facilities will be made available to the fans in the terraces too and events will be organized so that “fans make it a point to come to the arena and spend quality time in the terraces throughout the year and savor the weather of Valencia and the outdoor life”. It will be more for the outdoorsy fans.

With connections to a new park, the leisure destination will host top national and international sports, cultural and entertainment events.
 

Capacity

The multipurpose venue will have a capacity of 15,600 spectators in basketball mode and 18,600 in concert mode. The facility is all set to become a multifunctional venue for music, arts, culture, and sporting events.
 

Terraces beckon

The high point of the arena will be the three terraces. The third-level terrace is very close to the plaza which encompasses the whole Valencia Arena. It will be a space where friends can hang out and enjoy beer. The mid-level terrace is for friends or families to sit and enjoy dinner with food bound to leave them spoilt for choice. The top-level terrace is for the exclusive use of the VIP guests.
 

Street view

Barrera elaborated that from the street one will see how the “Pedestrian traffic flows and goes to the underground parking area of the arena and an LED screen will also be placed in this space.”

He further elaborated that the arena has been so designed that fans can see up-close views of the basketball court action. Franchise joints will be set up very near to the court so that fans can get up and buy refreshments and yet not miss out on the court action.

The infrastructure will attract national and international music promoters who, until now, have not had a venue large enough to attract major tours to pass through the City. In addition, the new headquarters of the Valencia Basket Club will be built with an auxiliary track, changing rooms, media area, retail store, museum, and offices. The arena will also have an underground car park with approximately 1,300 spaces. It will also have an attached multipurpose room, a variety of restaurants and a wide range of seats, terraces and VIP areas. The facility will be equipped with the most advanced technology.

Barrera stated, “Valencia boasts rich tradition of music and culture and hence the decision to set up a concert venue.”

The new arena will be a kind of cherry on the cake for the City which already boasts eye-catching architecture. Valencia Arena will comprise 1,200m2 multipurpose rooms and will be the new and future headquarters of both the men and women’s Valencia Basket Club.
 

Sustainable stadia

Barrera remarked that in order to make a stadium sustainable one needs to redesign the spaces so that it provides immense satisfaction to fans as well as have a “surprise element” in store for them.

To drive home his point, he informed that HOK is the first design firm to create the tower suites which offers a combination of luxe elements.

He elaborated, “At the 65,326-capacity Hard Rock Stadium in Florida (US), we were the first to introduce these huge superlounges that sits inside the stadium in the year 2017. In 2018, we renovated the 21,000-capacity State Farm Arena in Atlanta (US). We removed 2,000 seats from the existing stadium to create 17 different spaces for hospitality purposes.“
 

Design success

Branding and sponsorship plays a key role for people to sit up and take notice of a particular venue’s design.

Barrera asserted, “Diversification of offer is key to the design of a stadium like setting up separate block of offices, setting up a commercial corridor along the stadium and so on. The entire focus at the end is to keep the fans in good humor and the stadium should be designed in such a manner that fans would want to spend most of their time in the venue, of course with excellent facilities.”

Barrera also noted that the relationship between fans and stadia will have to be very “cordial”. If the stadium operators adopt a red carpet rollout strategy for fans, the fans too will put their best foot forward to take proper care of the venue.

He noted, “From an architect’s point of view, stadia should be so designed that they provide an intimate experience to fans as well as to the VIP guests. We must give utmost attention to fans coming to attend all kinds of events and not just fans that come to watch a sporting event.”
 

Stadium success

People connected with a venue project will have to be very flexible in their thoughts especially in the present times when the millennial generation taste and demands will be very different from the people of the bygone era. They would demand the most advanced facilities and technology.
 

Research and development

A lot of research should go into designing a stadium taking into consideration the finer details like clear sightlines for the spectators from wherever they are sitting in the venue.

Barrera concluded by stating, “We will also have to look into aspects like what is the distance from your seat to the point of sale and all the services that go through from that point where you are sitting in the arena to the point of sale. The technology lent to a venue should be cutting-edge so that it helps operators to better run the facility.”

It indeed takes a lot of great minds to come together to design a stadium and to keep an eye for minute details so that the end result is flawless.

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