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Santiago Calatrava was born in Valencia, Spain in 1951. He studied art and architecture in Valencia, with graduate courses in urban studies and civil engineering. He has a Ph.D. in Technical Science from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and honorary doctorates from University Politechnic Valencia, University of Seville, Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland, and Milwaukee School of Engineering.

After completing his studies, Calatrava took a position as an assistant at the Federal Institute of Technology and began to accept small engineering commissions, such as designing the roof for a library or the balcony of a private residence. He also began to enter competitions, believing this was his most likely way to secure commissions. His first winning competition proposal, in 1983, was for the design and construction of Stadelhofen Railway Station in Zurich, the city in which he established his office.

In 1984, Calatrava won the competition to design and build the Bach de Roda Bridge, commissioned for the Olympic Games in Barcelona. This was the beginning of the bridge projects that established his international reputation. The subsequent growth of his practice led him to establish a second office, in Paris, in 1989.

Calatrava's projects often depend on a firm grasp of both the creative and structural aspects of design. As both an architect and an engineer, Calatrava effortlessly identifies with both of these disciplines. Calatrava designs emphasize the importance of primary structure in defining form, while steering clear of the apathetic acceptance of established forms. His skills as an engineer allow him to create sculptural surfaces and unique spaces.

"I believe geometry is fundamental to understanding architecture. I approach my work through geometry. In understanding the world of architecture, the language of geometry is as important as the language of structure. Both are significant sources of inspiration for me, along with the properties of materials and the world of nature."

Calatrava strongly believes that structures should relate to their surroundings. "I always try to grasp the character of the site within which I have to build." His designs are very powerful in both their existence and in their form. He sees the site as a dynamic place where things are always happening: the wind blows, the trees move, the sun moves, shadows and clouds move. Consequently Calatrava's projects coexists harmoniously with the environment they share.

 
  DOBI Office Building  BCE Place  Alamillo Bridge  
  Lyon-Satolas Airport  Buchen Housing Estate  Alameda Metro Station  
  Tenerife Exhibition Center  Jorge Manrique Footbridge  Emergency Services Center  
  Milwaukee Art Museum     
       
  CLICK ON IMAGE FOR LARGER VIEW
Santiago Calatrava
..:: Santiago Calatrava ::..
Essay by: Enzo Ferrari
 

SELECTED PROJECTS

1986 DOBI Office Building Suhr
1992 BCE Place Toronto, Canada
1992 Alamillo Bridge Seville
1994 Lyon-Satolas Airport France
1996 Buchen Housing Estate
1996 Alameda Metro Station Valencia
1996 Tenerife Exhibition
1998 Jorge Manrique Footbridge Murcia
1998 Emergency Services St.Gallen
2000 Milwaukee Art Museum
 
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