The Valencia Marina is an exemplary seafront on an international level, owing to the way it has been recovered for the community. The old port is now a public space covering a million square metres open to innovation, gastronomy and nautical pursuits. On the horizon of Valencia, yesterday, today and tomorrow live side by side, through buildings that bear witness to different eras and uses.
The chandlers shops, the old dry dock, the Clocktower building, the Docks and the Cabria crane tell of the splendour of the historic commercial port of Valencia, which experienced modernisation and a peak in activities during the first decades of the twentieth century.
These port infrastructures, of modernist neo-baroque style, associated Valencia with progress and modernity. And today, obsolete for their original use, they have been recovered for people. This is the case of the renovated Tinglado 2, an old merchandise warehouse now converted into the large Poblados Marítimos square, where skaters have found their ideal rink.
In contrast, the Veles e Vents building was constructed in 2006 and intended as the social epicentre of the 32nd and 33rd America’s Cup competitions held in Valencia. Veles e Vents is an innovative proposal by the architects David Chipperfield and Fermín Vázquez, rewarded in 2007 with the European LEAF Award. And dating from the same era are the bases that were built as headquarters for the teams participating in the prestigious sailing competition. These modular constructions have today been reinvented to host uses related to innovation, creativity and culture.
One of the best pieces of news in recent years for the Marina is that we have been able to see spaces overflowing with life: for example, we find the modernist pergola, a stage reactivated for the scheduling of daytime concerts. This initiative has enabled thousands of residents to find pleasant reasons to come and enjoy their marina again.
Definitively, the Valencia Marina is seeing the materialisation of a process of appropriation by the community. A friendly and ordered space, which is designed with and for people. Kilometres of bicycle lanes, green zones, children’s parks, the multi-sports court designed by the young artist Abel Matutes and made from recycled Formula 1 fences… and, especially, an open sea where the last form of sailing has yet to be invented.
The pictures are the vision of María Visuals, the photographer of Agencia Districte, head of communications for the Marina for many years. María is, as she calls herself, “the eyes of the Marina” after more than three years photographing the life of this space.
“During these years I have grown considerably as a photographer since I have worked on all kinds of photography. I have photographed water sports, gastronomy, music, very diverse events… You could say that it only remains for me to submerge myself with my camera from the inner harbour,” explains the photographer.
“I live and breathe the Marina with a camera in my hand and I don’t understand it in any other way. One of the things I most like to do at the Marina is to walk with my cameral, for me it is a set of possibilities, opportunities and curiosity,” she concludes. You can see the results in this fantastic graphic report.