The Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia (Reina Sofia Palace of the Arts) is an opera house and cultural centre located in the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain.
The opera house was opened by the Queen of Spain, Reina Sophia, in 2005. The building was designed by the Valencian born architect Santiago Calatrava and took 14 years and €120 million to construct. The opera house is part of the larger complex, the City of Arts and Sciences, which was also designed by Calatrava. The complex cost an estimated €400 million to build.
The shape of the building has been described as a sea creature and spacecraft. The most distinctive features of the building are its ‘feather plume’ adorning the top of the building and the ‘trencadís’ covered steel shells enclosing the building. The building is 70 meters tall and includes four separate music and performance halls (The Sala Principal, the Auditorium, the Aula Magistral and the Martí i Soler Theatre).
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There has been several problems with the building since its construction. The building is showing signs of damage after the changing of temperatures in the city. This has mainly effected the trencadís coverings which will all have to be replaced with an estimated cost of €3 million. Furthermore, Calatrava is being sued by the city of Valencia for apparent flaws in his designs.
The budget for the complex has migrated north of €1 billion, almost quadruple its original budget. This was made worse when the city experience the financial crash of 2008.