Not every architect gets the chance to transform a city. But Santiago Calatrava did. Even better, the city he got to transform was Valencia, the city where he was born and trained.
The City of Arts and Sciences is a massive complex of eight buildings that look like they’re from another world. A project of that size was possible in the heart of the city only because the Turia River was diverted to another route around the city after a devastating flood in 1957. So suddenly there was a lot of space available, and Valencia made good use of it. The upper reaches is all parkland, and the lower reaches were essentially handed over to the imagination of Calatrava. There is an opera house, a planetarium, a science museum, a futuristic landscaped park, and the largest aquarium in Europe.