Episode #10 of the course “Architects who changed the world”
Born in 1951 in Valencia, Spain, Santiago Calatrava is one of the most famous and controversial architects alive today. He is known for his massive and ambitious designs that combine his civil engineering and architectural knowledge in sweeping, eye-catching innovative motifs that are usable in urban landscapes. However, he is also known for going over budget on his projects, which always have incredibly high budgets to begin with. One of the most acclaimed architects of all time, Santiago Calatrava receives steady commissions from around the world. He has won more awards than almost any other architect, and has been awarded dozens of honorary degrees in addition to the two he earned.
Lyon Airport Railway Station, Lyon, France
Calatrava has been labeled a Neo-futurist by art and architecture critics, although he has described his work as his own brand of Spanish Modernism. By bringing together civil engineering and architecture, many believe that he has made basic urban structures into sweeping artforms. In his early career, Calatrava awed many with many graceful bridges like his Samuel Beckett Bridge in Ireland, but it was his design on the Montjuïc Communications Tower for the Barcelona Olympics that shot him into architecture super-stardom.
Samuel Beckett Bridge, Dublin, Ireland
Montjuïc Communications Tower for the Barcelona Olympics
Calatrava has built in some of the most difficult urban landscapes, often designing bridges, train stations, and skyscrapers to meet the modern needs of city life, including the amazing Turning Torso in Sweden. One of Calatrava’s current projects, the Sharq Crossing in Qatar, is intended to connect a series of bridges and underwater tunnels in a network that spans nearly 5 miles. He creates structures for convenience in modern living using nearly impossible angles, graceful sweeping curves, sheets of glass, and miles of steel to create a feeling of natural elegance to his obviously man-made endeavors.
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