"Valencia was, at the end of the 1920s, a dispersed and unfinished city, in need of new planning capable of changing its outdated growth model for one more in line with new urban theories," said architect and researcher Tito Llopis. the historian David Sánchez, curators of the exhibition Javier Goerlich Lleó: architecture and urbanism in the city of Valencia (1914-1962), which opens this Tuesday in the municipal exhibition hall of the Valencian Consistory.
An ambitious show that goes beyond the professional life of the architect who changed the course of the city, whose planning he directed from 1922 until his retirement in 1956; It was his stage of greatest splendor, when he makes his old projects of interior reform and sets up new spaces to complete his vision on the development of the city.
The avenue of the west, the prolongation of the beautiful street of La Paz, the opening of Poeta Querol, the large roundabout behind the Puerta de Serranos, the extension of Paseo de la Alameda between the bridges of the Sea and Aragón, the avenida de María Cristina , the widening of the descent of San Francisco and the historic center, are some of the important actions planned for the city, as well as the construction of 600 emblematic buildings. "He was the most influential architect in Valencia during the first half of the 20th century," says Llopis, who says that the largest reform was that of the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, which connected with the Estación del Norte and the Mercado Central.
The square of Emilio Castelar and its Flower Market, built in 1932, was demolished three decades later. "I remembered too much the reforming spirit of the Republic", the curators point out, that in one of the highlights of the exhibition, precisely where the original sketches can be seen and examined, fragments of the English film are projected The boy who stole a million, shot two years before the plaza and the market disappeared, and several documentaries present works, some of which have disappeared, such as the Trianon and Condal cinemas, of the architect of Austrian origin. "New traffic routes, which replace or extend existing ones, cross the old urban network defining large blocks with curved chamfers to favor road traffic, ready to house dense and high-rise architectures", explain the people in charge of the exhibition.
A large interactive model of the center of Valencia occupies the main space of the room dedicated to the urban projects designed by the architect, "unusual for the Valencia of his time", points David Sánchez, in Knowing Goerlich. The exhibition covers extensively, in different areas, the work of the author of such emblematic buildings as the Metropol, the Mercado de Abastos, and the "sadly destroyed" Club Náutico de Valencia, in a "boat" style, which he signs together with Alfonso Fungairiño.
The architect who changed Valencia, counts, in the exhibition, with spaces that explain his protagonism in the social and cultural activity of the city. Goerlich, born in Valencia in 1886, of an Austrian father and a Valencian mother, who completed his studies at the School of Architecture of Barcelona, chose, at the age of 21, Spanish nationality. "It was important for us to show the citizen, the figure that drove Valencian cultural and social life," says Llopis, founder of the architecture office Vetges tu I Mediterrànea (VTiM). Goerlich, passionate about music and painting, presided over the Symphony Orchestra of Valencia and the Royal Academy of San Carlos. "The exhibition aims to recover for the general public the trajectory of a decisive person in the construction of the city we see today," says Gloria Tello, Councilor for Cultural Heritage and Resources.