Monday, November 30

Santiago Calatrava Naturally Challenges Structures

Santiago Calatrava Valls, born 1951 in Valencia Spain, is an internationally recognized award-winning architect, sculptor and structural engineer with offices in Zurich, Paris and Valencia. He studied at the Architecture School and Arts and Crafts School of Valencia. Following graduation he enrolled in the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, 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. Since then he has been bridging the division between structural engineering and architecture. Visit his website at

The innovative 54 story high twisting tower, called Turning Torso, Sweden
The Chicago Spire set to completion in 2011, Chicago. Will be the tallest building in North America at 2,000 feet.

80 South Street, a skyscraper with 10 townhouses as stacked cubes, Manhattan.
The interior of the BCE Place Galleria, Toronto, Canada (1992).
Bridge of the Woman, Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Chords Bridge for pedestrians and train in Jerusalem, Israel

“There was a wish to get something exceptional. I also wanted to deliver something technically unique.” - Santiago Calatrava.

“I have tried to get close to the frontier between architecture and sculpture and to understand architecture as an art.” - Santiago Calatrava.

The Quadracci Pavilion of the Milwaukee Art Museum. First US building 2001.
The Milwaukee Art Museum at night.
The Milwaukee Art Museum interior.
Tenerife Opera House, Canary Islands, Spain.
Calatrava designed the future train station - World Trade Center Transportation Hub - at the rebuilt World Trade Center in New York City. His theme is meant to see the beauty within despair and provides hope for a brighter future.

The glass and steel structure is meant to have a profound impact on Lower Manhattan at all times of the day. During the day, natural light will flood into the Transportation Hub. At night the illuminated building will serve as a lantern for the plaza and the office towers surrounding it. The roof of the Hub's freestanding structure will be fitted with an operable skylight located along the central axis on fine spring, summer, and fall days, as well as on September 11th each year, the skylight will open thus providing the interior space with a slice of sky and its natural light.

Read more about this project in the New York Times at and also at Watch photos of the Freedom Tower project at youtube and also the construction in progress of Calatrava's Hub bellow.

"The most touching thing that anyone can say to me is that I have done something beautiful for the community.” And while landmark projects such as the WTC Transportation Hub define this architect’s career, he says that even “a small bridge in a beautiful natural place, a winery in a delicate setting, can also move your sensibility and show you how important it is that architecture does not become a predator on the landscape, but rather gives dignity and human scale to its environment. Even in the most modest circumstances, there is the possibility for emotion and poetry.” - Santiago Calatrava.

Walk through another Calatrava future project, the Future Train Station In Liege, Belgium.

1 comment:

  1. I walked on the Bridge of the Woman in Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires... I saw the empty lot of ground zero... and won't be that gloomy anymore... bring the light Santiago!