Valencia, 13 April 2022 — Coinciding with the start of construction in the City Hall Square, World Design Capital® Valencia 2022 reveals the details of Àgora València, an architectural space whose construction will merge tradition and avant-garde, craft and industry, using ceramic and vareta wood, a traditional craft technique used by Fallas artisans. With Àgora València, the city acquires an open space for citizens as a legacy of the transforming power of design.

Àgora València continues the legacy of pavilions hosted by other World Design Capitals such as Helsinki and Taipei and it will unite several complementary sections: a space open to citizen participation, an exhibition area, and broadcast Valencian design along with the best designs from around the world that are visiting Valencia throughout the year.

Àgora València is a project of World Design Capital Valencia 2022 and the City Council of Valencia with the support of the Provincial Council of Valencia, La Marina de València and the Valencian companies Inalco and Wandegar. The design of the space is led by Miguel Arraiz, architect and projects director of WDC Valencia 2022, together with Arqueha Arquitectura y Urbanismo, responsible for technical development with the advice of the interior design studio Cosín Estudio.

World Design Capital Valencia 2022 - Àgora València - pavillion interior

From Architectural Icon to “Plaza Mayor” of Valencian Creativity Where to Walk, See, Touch and Enjoy Design

Àgora València has been conceived as the strategic core of Valencia World Design Capital 2022 programme in order to reinforce the objectives of numerous projects, exhibitions, talks and meetings that take place each day in all corners of the city. In this way, once fully open in June it will stand as a meeting point from which both locals and visitors can enjoy Valencian design and get to know professionals, institutions and companies rooted in the culture of creativity and innovation.

Inclusive, sustainable and flexible, Àgora València will have its own calendar of cross-cutting activities for all audiences whilst the city celebrates its status as the global epicentre of design, later relocating to La Marina de València.

Crafts, Innovation, Industry, Light and Valencian Talent: Axes of the Architectural Project

Àgora Valencia’s purpose is reflected in the materials and the manufacturing of the space, in the artisanal processes of its building and in its delicate approach to sustainability.

From the beginning we devised the project as a gift for the present and the future of Valencia, putting people at the heart“, explains Miguel Arraiz. “In this unique opportunity to bring design and its transversality to the citizenry, companies and institutions, we have set out to investigate the materials and the artisan tradition of our land. In addition to extolling the Valencian roots, which describe a unique way of doing things, the materials and the construction systems that allow the modular and removable format of the pavilion are a commitment to circularity and durability.”

With an area of 350 square metres, this modular pavilion will tell the story of the renowned design born on the shores of the Mediterranean, of materials born from ceramic innovation and traditions such as the vareta technique by the carpenter and artist Manolo García. The construction of the pavilion has the participation of companies such as Inalco, Wandegar and Iguzzini and studios and professionals such as Manolo García Carpintería Artística, Radiante Creative Studio, ATG Desarrollos, Josep Martí and Quatre Caps.

Àgora València consists of a structure of 24m x 10m and 9m in height. The building will be covered with a skin developed by the companies Inalco and Wandegar from ceramic pieces placed perpendicularly on the façade to sift the light over the hours. In fact, the light has been treated as an actual building material, and other elements such as the upper cover, of great aesthetic power, will also contribute to this. The great piece of vareta that will cover the pavilion will be made by Manolo García, master of carpentry and fallero artist who will return to this square where he has developed and displayed his creations so many times. This element will simulate the waves of the Mediterranean Sea in reference to the city as a point of historical union between different cultures.

“Inalco will be present in the façade and in the ceiling, designed with MDi from the Silk Blanco collection. MDi (Minerals, Design, innovation) is an innovative surface, developed with the purest minerals, which allows body and surface to present a whole aesthetic continuity,” says Vicente López, general manager Inalco, an official partner of the pavillion. MDi is a sustainable product as it is formulated with 50% recycled material from its own production process. Also, its full digital technology, unique in its sector worldwide, allows to save 70% of the used water and it avoids the use of solvents.

On his end, Javier Cano, manager of the engineering company in innovative technical applications for architectural enclosures and ceramic ceilings Wandegar, says that “we are very excited about our participation in the Àgora València project, it is a challenge for which we have devised an architectural solution that will stand out for its simplicity and lightness without damaging the safety nor the modular and flexible character of the structure.”

At sunset, an artistic and immersive lighting installation created by the creative studio Radiante will turn the pavilion into a great lighthouse as a symbol of the pride of the entire city of Valencia as World Design Capital.

View of WDC Valencia 2022 pavillion at night with lighting installations by studio Radiante

Opening Design to Society from a Space and a Programme Aimed at Everyone

“Valencia is a city with a knack for design, for creativity,” says Xavi Calvo, director of World Design Capital Valencia 2022. “However, we needed to push people to get to know everything we are from our own space, we wanted to raise awareness about the importance of design and to show the great examples we have of it.” The organization will open a call for projects so that the great audiovisual support that will be installed in the centre of Àgora can be a full representation of Valencian creativity. This will be done thanks to the projection of short films, spots, designs and creative ideas so that everyone can experience Valencian potential.

Àgora València represents the unbreakable link between Valencia and design. It will become the heart of a city where it is possible to breathe design in every corner thanks to more than 200 workshops, exhibitions, conferences, and meetings as part of the WDC Valencia 2022 programme.

This space will be the focal point to appreciate the year-long programme of events and, at the same time, a point of communication and exchange of ideas, an open forum for round tables, conferences and presentations on design, as well as for the realization of didactic workshops and social and professional meetings. In this way, it will be an open and accessible building that will allow the organization and integration of multiple functions and events of different kinds.

Located at Plaça de l’Ajuntament, 46002 Valencia, Spain, the opening date and times, as well as the schedule of activities, will be announced soon.

Construction commenced in the square facing Valencia's city hall - ©NereaColl

Alicia Matallín
+34 607 37 76 48

Anna Castro | Marga Vidal
+34 93 362 10 34 | 620 37 93 90

Design and architecture: MIGUEL ARRAIZ + ARQUEHA
Structure: JOSEP MARTÍ
Construction company: ATG DESARROLLOS
Architectural envelope: INALCO + WANDEGAR
3D and CGI visualisations: QUATRE CAPS

About World Design Capital Valencia 2022

Valencia is World Design Capital in 2022 after the biannual designation carried out by the renowned institution World Design Organization. The city of Valencia and, by extension, the Valencian Community, is a land of creativity. The work of design, architecture, interior design or illustration professionals over the last hundred years demonstrates a design culture that extends throughout the whole territory.

The project, promoted by the Associació València Capital del Disseny and with the recently created Fundació del Disseny de la Comunitat Valenciana in charge of the legacy, has the assistance of Ajuntament de València, Generalitat Valenciana, Conselleria de Economía Sostenible, Productive Sectors, Trade and Labour, Valencian Institute of Business Competitiveness (IVACE), Diputació de València, Visit València, Feria Valencia, La Marina de València, the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation for Development (AECID), Ships and the Metropolitan Entity for Waste Treatment (EMTRE). In addition to counting with the Association of Designers of the Valencian Community (ADCV) and the Association of Interior Designers of the Valencian Community (CDICV) as promoters.

It is an initiative that goes past the local to become a project of national dimension and international projection with the support of three ministries: the Ministry of Science and Innovation; the Ministry of Culture and Sport and the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism; in addition to other institutions such as ICEX (Spain Export and Investment), Spanish Cultural Action, the Business Confederation CEV, the Forum of Renowned Spanish Brands, the Arxiu Valencià del Disseny or the Conexus Foundation. It has also received support from collaborating companies such as Actiu, AIDIMME, Andreu World, EMTRE, Escato, Finsa, Gandia Blasco Group, Grupo Torrecid, Instituto de Biomecánica de Valencia, La Imprenta, LZF-Lamps, Padima, Point, Profiltek, Punt, Rolser, Tau Cerámica, Teika, Veles e Vents, Vondom and Zumex, as well as cultural spaces, educational entities and professional organizations such as READ (Spanish Network of Design Associations), ComunitAD, FAD (Foment de les Arts i del Disseny), platform ArtEnBlanc, Dimova, the Colegio Oficial de Publicitarios de la Comunitat Valenciana and the Colegio Territorial de Arquitectos de Valencia.

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