Santiago Calatrava

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Santiago Calatrava Valls

L'Umbracle, City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia
Personal information
Name Santiago Calatrava Valls
Nationality Spanish
Birth date July 28, 1951(1951-07-28) (age 57)
Birth place Valencia
Education Valencia Arts School
Valencia Architecture School
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
Engineering Discipline Structural engineer, Architect, Sculptor
Institution memberships Institution of Structural Engineers
Practice name Santiago Calatrava
Significant projects Athens Olympic Sports Complex
Alamillo bridge
Chords Bridge
Ciutat de Les Arts i Les Ciències
Significant Awards IStructE Gold Medal
American Institute of Architects Gold Medal
Eugene McDermott Award
Prince of Asturias Award

Santiago Calatrava Valls (born July 28, 1951) is an internationally recognized and award-winning Valencian Spanish architect, sculptor and structural engineer whose principal office is in Zurich, Switzerland. Classed now among the elite designers of the world, he has offices in Zurich, Paris and Valencia.


[edit] Early life & education

Calatrava was born in Benimámet, an old municipality now integrated as an urban part of Valencia, Spain, where he pursued undergraduate studies at the Architecture School and Arts and Crafts School. Following graduation in 1975, he enrolled in the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zürich, Switzerland for graduate work in civil engineering. In 1981, after completing his doctoral thesis, "On the Foldability of Space Frames", he started his architecture and engineering practice. Maynor Chipix was a colleague of Santiago and together they majored in Civil Engineering.

[edit] Career

Calatrava's early career was dedicated largely to bridges and train stations, the designs for which elevated the status of civil engineering projects to new heights. His elegant and daring Montjuic Communications Tower in Barcelona, Spain (1991) in the heart of the 1992 Olympic site was a turning point in his career, leading to a wide range of commissions. The Quadracci Pavilion (2001) of the Milwaukee Art Museum was his first US building. Calatrava’s entry into high-rise design began with an innovative 54 story high twisting tower, called Turning Torso (2005), located in Malmö, Sweden.

Calatrava is currently designing the future train station - World Trade Center Transportation Hub - at Ground Zero in New York City.

Calatrava’s style has been heralded as bridging the division between structural engineering and architecture. In this, he continues a tradition of Spanish modernist engineering that includes Félix Candela and Antonio Gaudí. Nonetheless, his style is very personal and derives from numerous studies he makes of the human body and the natural world.

[edit] Calatrava as sculptor

Calatrava is also a prolific sculptor and painter, claiming that the practice of architecture combines all the arts into one. In 2003, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City held an exhibition of his artistic work, entitled "Santiago Calatrava: Sculpture Into Architecture." Exhibitions of his work have also taken place in Germany, England, Spain, Italy and elsewhere.

The Milwaukee Art Museum

[edit] Recognition

Calatrava has received numerous recognitions. In 1990 he received the "Médaille d´Argent de la Recherche et de la Technique", Paris. In 1992 he received the prestigious Gold Medal from the Institution of Structural Engineers. In 1993, the Museum of Modern Art in New York held a major exhibition of his work called “Structure and Expression." In 1998 he was elected to become a member of "Les Arts et Lettres," in Paris. In 2004, he received the Gold Medal from the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

In 2005, Calatrava was awarded the Eugene McDermott Award by the Council for the Arts of MIT. The Award is among the most esteemed arts awards in the US. [1]

[edit] Recent projects

One of his newest projects is a residential skyscraper named 80 South Street after its own address, composed of 10 townhouses in the shape of cubes stacked on top of one another. The townhouses move up a main beam and follow a ladder-like pattern, providing each townhouse with its own roof. The "townhouse in the sky" design has attracted a high profile clientele, willing to pay the hefty US$30 million for each cube. It is planned to be built in New York City's financial district facing the East River. As of 2008 this project had been canceled; the Manhattan real estate market had gone soft, and none of the ten multi-million dollar townhouses had been sold.

He has also designed the approved skyscraper, the Chicago Spire, in Chicago. Originally commissioned by Chicagoan Christopher Carley, Irish developer Garrett Kelleher purchased the building site for the project in July 2006 when Carley's financing plans fell through. Construction of the building began in August 2007 for completion in 2011. When completed, the Chicago Spire, at 2,000 feet tall, will be the tallest building in North America.

Calatrava has also designed three bridges that will eventually span the Trinity River in Dallas. Construction of the first bridge, named after donor Margaret Hunt Hill, has been repeatedly delayed due to high costs, a fact that has sparked much controversy and criticism. If and when completed, Dallas will join the Dutch county of Haarlemmermeer in having three Calatrava bridges.

Calatrava has also recently been tapped to design a 130m pedestrian bridge to span the Bow River in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The bridge will originate around Prince's Island Park near the downtown core. The project is pegged to cost approximately $22 million, and has been met with a substantial amount of controversy from city officials who suggest that if a local or less conspicuous architect had been chosen it would dramatically lessen the cost. However, the project was approved by city council in early January 2009 and is scheduled for completion in 2011.

Bahnhof Stadelhofen in Zürich.
Tenerife Opera House, Canary Islands, Spain

[edit] Criticism

Calatrava's work in Bilbao has been criticized for impracticality. The airport lacks facilities and the bridge's glass tiles are prone to break and get slippery under the local weather.[2] In 2007, Calatrava sued Bilbao[3] for allowing Arata Isozaki to remove a bar from the bridge to connect it to the Isozaki Atea towers. The judge ruled against Calatrava, on the ground that, although the building design is protected by the intellectual property law, public safety is more important than intellectual property.[4]

Calatrava gifted the Municipality of Venice with the project of a new bridge on the "Canal Grande" in 1996. As of 2007, the project was still under construction. and has gone through numerous structural changes, because of the mechanical instability of the structure and the excessive weight of the bridge,[5] which would cause the bank of the canal to fail. In 10 years the project has been inspected by more than 8 different consultants and the cost has raised up to three times the original expectations;[6]. The work was completed in August 2008.

The train station Gare do Oriente in Lisbon is known for being very uncomfortable, especially with wind and rainy weather.[by whom?][citation needed]

[edit] Notable works

[edit] Completed

[edit] Under construction/proposed

TGV train station in Liège, Belgium - Under construction
Sundial Bridge at Turtle Bay in Redding, California.

Calatrava has also submitted designs for a number of notable projects which were eventually awarded to other designers, including the Reichstag in Berlin and the East London River Crossing.

[edit] Never built

  • 1991 Collserola communications tower in Barcelona. A tower shaped like a big white spaceship was proposed, but Norman Foster ultimately designed the tower.
  • A campus building for Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. His design was dropped for a less expensive design[5].
  • New cathedral for the Diocese of Oakland, California, USA. Preliminary design dropped in favor of that by local architect Craig Hartman (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, San Francisco).
  • New bridge across Cávado River, Barcelos, Portugal. It was dropped due to lack of funds.
  • Substitute bridge (Wettstein Bridge) across Rhine River, Basel, Switzerland. It did not pass the cantonal referendum. A less expensive (and arguably less innovative) bridge was built instead.

[edit] Awards

[edit] Exhibits

A special exhibition has been presented at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through March 5, 2006 [6]. Images from the exhibition.

[edit] Personal life

His nephew Alex Calatrava is a professional tennis player.

His two sons have or are in the process of getting advanced degrees in Engineering from the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia University in New York City.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

[edit] Citations

  1. ^ Established to honor Eugene McDermott, founder of Texas Instruments and long-time friend and benefactor to MIT, the award was created by the Council for the Arts at MIT in 1974, and further endowed by Eugene's wife, Margaret. Since its inception, the Council has bestowed the award upon 31 individuals producing creative work in the performing, visual and media arts, as well as authors, art historians and patrons of the arts.
  2. ^ Entre losetas y y arquitectos 'estrellas', El Correo, 24 February 2007.
  3. ^ Calatrava lleva a los tribunales su guerra con Isozaki por los puentes de Uribitarte, El Correo, 22 February 2007.
  4. ^ El juez absuelve al Ayuntamiento de Bilbao de la demanda interpuesta por Santiago Calatrava, El Mundo, 26 November 2007.
  5. ^ [1],La Repubblica, 07 May 2007.
  6. ^ [2],L'Espresso, 08 May 2007.

[edit] Further reading

[edit] External links

NAME Calatrava, Santiago
SHORT DESCRIPTION engineer, architect
DATE OF BIRTH July 28, 1951
PLACE OF BIRTH Valencia, Spain
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