The new center for the America’s Cup – the Veles e Vents building- was finished within a remarkable 11 months of receiving the commission. Design, construction drawings and the construction of the project have all been carried out since their appointment in June 2005. The building and its accompanying park were successfully opened in time for 2006 preliminary regattas.
The building and park were the social focal point for the world’s premier offshore racing competition to be staged in Europe for the first time in over 150 years following Swiss Team Alinghi’s win over Team New Zealand in 2003 and the selection of Valencia host city. Following a schedule of regattas, the climax was the Louis Vuitton Cup and the 32nd America’s Cup Match in 2007. The centerpiece of the re-organisation of Valencia’sport, the Edificio Veles e Vents provides a central base for all America’s Cup teams and sponsors as well as being a venue for the public to view the cup races.
The Veles e Vents building connects directly to anew park built above car parking, a ’tail’ of elevated public spectator decks stretching out from the building into the port, with bars, restaurants and information points. The decks overlook a newly excavated canal that will link the port to the offshore racing courses. To the north, a new 100,000m2 park links the city to the new seafront. The 10,000m2 four-floor building is composed of a series of stacked and shifting horizontal planes that provide shade and uninterrupted views extending out to sea. The ground floor acts as the reception area for the VIP facilities and has a canal facing restaurant open to the public. The first floor is public and open to the air with retail facilities and a generous viewing deck that connects to the park. The second and third floors house the VIP facilities; the ’Foredeck Club’, a restaurant, a wellness center and lounges for America’s Cup management, Louis Vuitton and the Consorcio Valencia 2007.
The building is a concrete structure with deep cantilevered floor slabs creating the unobstructed and shaded viewing decks that surround all the floors. The building utilizes a reduced palette of materials – white painted steel trims the edges of the concrete structure, the ceiling is of white metal panels incorporating linear recessed lighting, the external floors solid timber decking and the internal floors, white resin. The predominant whiteness of the building is offset by simple brightly colored furniture.