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Santiago Calatrava the Autopoiesis of Architecture 3

Santiago Calatrava the Autopoiesis of Architecture

Photo Documentary about Santiago Calatrava´s Architectural Complex at The City of Arts and Sciences of Valencia

  • Text about The City of Arts and Sciences from Wikipedia
  • Text about Calatrava from Wikipedia

CALATRAVA: THE DIALECTIC BETWEEN STRUCTURE AND HARMONY

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

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Early Life and 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.

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Career

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

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Calatrava is currently designing the future train station – World Trade Center Transportation Hub – at the rebuilt World Trade Center in New York City.

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

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.

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He 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.

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His work includes three bridges that will eventually span the Trinity River in Dallas. Construction of the first bridge (Margaret Hunt Hill 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 they are completed, Dallas will join the Dutch county of Haarlemmermeerin having three Calatrava bridges.

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Calatrava’s design for the Peace Bridge, a 130m pedestrian bridge to span the Bow River in downtown Calgary, Alberta, Canada, will cost approximately $24.5 million. The project was approved by city council in early January 2009 and is scheduled for completion in fall 2010. Public disclosure of Peace Bridge was made on 28 July 2009 to the public and praised as a sleek, elegant contribution to downtown Calgary. The design showed a sleek, tubular, single span red and white trestle, offering separate pathways for cyclists and pedestrians. The bridge is expected to serve 5,000 pedestrians and cyclists daily.

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On 16 June 2009, it was announced that Calatrava would be designing the first building of the new University of South Florida Polytechnic campus in Lakeland Florida. This will be his first work in the southeastern United States.

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