Luna Rossa Team Base
In June 2007, the final race of the 32nd America's Cup started. Following the victory of the Swiss Alinghi team in 2003, the race returned to Europe after 150 years. Switzerland being landlocked, Valencia was selected to host the event and Renzo Piano was asked to design the Italian Luna Rossa team's operating base in the Spanish city. Piano has personified the programme, the race and its history in the building's skin. The unusual construction is made of 50 recycled Kevlar sails that have been used in races in recent years. The sails were preassembled on aluminium frames. To improve its technical performance, and particularly its rigidity, the cladding was reinforced with polycarbonate panels; special sails were used to keep out wind and water. The 485 panels form a semi-transparent patchwork box, reminiscent of a cubist sculpture.