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Spain's Eye to the Universe

LOBO inaugurates Europe's largest urban culture and leisure center

Hemispheric Valencia Eye

For one day it was the main topic in Spain's media landscape: In the presence of the highest political prominence the first building of a new cultural and scientological city was inaugurated. The avantgardistic and nature oriented architecture of the park was designed by the famous Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, the architect of the new radio tower in Barcelona as well as of the Expo-area in Sevilla.

The "Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias" stretches along a former river-bed in the south of Valencia. Like gigantic calyxes Calatrava placed the buildings in a park scenery dominated by water. In the nearest future about three million visitors per year will be able to meet with all facets of arts, culture and science. After being completed the area offers a "cultural palace" with more than 5.000 seats, which will secure Valencia its place under the worlds greatest opera and festival houses. Only within a few steps a science and technology museum of nearly incredible size is being built. And if this was not enough a oceanographic museum is being developed situated in an overdimensional water basin where the visitor can promenade through the oceanic fauna and flora in an underwater town with restaurants and connecting glass tunnels.

The center of the park is dominated by the "Hemispheric", a building of 90 m length and 50 m height. When reflected in the surrounding water it strongly reminds of an oversized eye. Logically, Calavatra designated a mechanism which opens and closes the "eye lid" over its full breadth. The interior of the eye consists of an IMAX-Dome combined for the first time with the most progressive planetarium techniques. As a symbol for the whole park this building should be inaugurated on 16th April.

With the German company LOBO from Aalen and the Cabalier pyrotechnique company from Valencia two strong partners which are known to be very experienced in great outdoor presentations were on board. The goal was to demonstrate the population of Valencia und the spectators of several television stations the great architecture and the designation of the building in a futuristic spectacle. For external reasons the whole conception and realization had to be completed in only 1½ weeks what, as a consequence, ended in a one-week series of night-shifts for all persons concerned.

On the technical side, 7 tons of fireworks, 70 kW sound equipment, 3 PANI-xenon slide projectors, 2 Barco 9200 video projectors and overall 600 kW of light for the illumination of the scenery were available. A central O.B. van allowed the audience watching television as well as the waiting present crowd to participate very realistically by means of several Jumbotron screens. Since Albert Ripoll I Coca wanted to inaugurate a futuristic park with futuristic technology he designated central importance to a technically and artistically ingenious application of the most progressive show laser techniques. At the SIB in Rimini where traditionally every year all celebrities of the laser show business assemble the Spaniard met with the German company LOBO which had already made a name for itself all over the world with its innovative technical solutions and a multitude of international awards for their laser spectacles.

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