Santiago Calatrava Biography & Buildings | Facts about Santiago Calatrava Will Surprise and Intrigue You
Santiago Calatrava Biography
Santiago Calatrava was born on July 28, 1951, in the suburbs of Valencia. As a child, he became interested in art, at the age of 8, he became a student of an art school. In the classroom, the future genius of “romantic high-tech” studied painting. The trip to France was a defining event in the choice of Santiago Calatrava education. The mother and father allowed their son to participate in the exchange program. The 13-year-old boy went to Paris, where he contemplated with delight the architectural splendor of the city. Unsurprisingly, after graduating from high school, he chose the relevant faculty of the University of Valencia.
The education of young Santiago Calatrava did not end there. Wanting to gain more professional knowledge, the young man went to Zurich. He studied in Switzerland for four years, worked as a teacher, and defended his dissertation. He liked the city, and it was decided to stay here for permanent residence. In the same place, in Zurich, Calatrava opened the first company.
The first orders for Santiago Calatrava’s work were small, but at the same time, the architect took part in various competitions all the time. In 1983, Santiago received a large order from the Zurich authorities. He was commissioned to design a railway station in the dacha area. After 3 years, the Santiago Calatrava bridge project for his native Valencia was completed, and then orders began to come from different parts of the world. I had to open an office in Paris to cope with the increased workload. A little later, a branch of the company appeared in Valencia. The architect’s creative “I” has been rewarded with numerous awards. By the 90s of the last century, the Calatrava surname was well known throughout the world. Among the first American orders was the Santiago Calatrava Milwaukee art museum project.
What is the secret of the genius of Santiago Calatrava’s sculpture? He is inspired by nature. The architect’s works are full of harmony. They are interesting and lively. An example is the “turning monster” in Sweden. This name hides an ordinary residential building. Although the word “normal” indicates only the purpose of the object and not its appearance. The building was built relatively recently, but it is already included in the TOP-5 of the tallest residential buildings in the Old World. The object has 9 blocks rotated relative to each other. It seems as if someone’s huge hand has turned a straight skyscraper around its axis.
Santiago Calatrava Buildings
During the construction of the building, an eighteen-meter foundation had to be made. The sixth part of the fill was made in the rock. This stage of construction work was serviced by over 800 trucks with concrete. Nine blocks soar up to a height of almost 200 meters and form 54 floors. The lower part of the house is occupied by offices, the upper part is occupied by conference rooms, and the rest are apartments with an area of up to 190 square meters. It is noteworthy that in a building turned around its axis, even the windows have a curved geometry.
Among other interesting projects Santiago Calatrava structures are a sports complex in Athens for the 2004 Games, a bridge in Murcia, a Planetarium in Valencia, a transport hub of the World Trade Center in New York, etc. himself modest and in no hurry to be popular. All that is known about the Santiago Calatrava family is that he is married to a Swede. Calatrava does not appear on TV and often travels by public transport because he is not recognized on the street. The fact that he is fluent in six languages is also admirable.
Santiago Calatrava Facts
Anchor points in the activities of Calatrava are sculpture, drawing, engineering, architecture. He began his journey from an art school, from where he then transferred to the Higher Technical School of Architecture. Graduated from the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich in 1979 with an engineering degree. Through Santiago Calatrava, artworks studies form, and drawing helps to get to the core of an object, peel off the shell and get to its baselines. For example, in a number of his architectural masterpieces, one can recognize the sculpture “The Eye” created by him. In the Santiago Calatrava style, the person is the measure of all things and is often the source of inspiration for the architect.
Santiago Calatrava Significant Projects
Bridge “October 9”, Valencia, 1986-1988
This work by Santiago Calatrava architects was one of the first to kick-start Calatrava’s career as a bridge designer. The project was commissioned by the Valencian authorities. Its main goal was to relieve traffic in the areas of La Caldera and Oliveret. In order for the structure not to look massive, the architect used a visual technique: he divided the bridge into two identical parts, leaving an open space between them.
Bridge “Alamillo”, Seville, 1987-1992
The construction of the Alamillo Bridge was timed to coincide with the 1992 World Expo in Seville. In this project, the Santiago Calatrava architect decided to implement his bold idea: support, fixed on only one side by thirteen cables, was supposed to support a 250-meter span of the bridge. This task was achieved thanks to an innovative solution with a counterweight pylon at the time. The architect calculated that the angle of inclination of the support should be 58 degrees.
Santiago Calatrava works also designed a special structure of two steel pipes placed one inside the other, and all the internal space between them was filled with reinforced concrete. Calatrava was inspired to such a compositional solution of the bridge by his sculpture “Running Torso”, where marble cubes are balanced on a stretched wire. This idea will be used by the architect more than once in subsequent Santiago Calatrava bridges.
Communication Tower “Montjuc”, Barcelona, 1989-1992
This 136-meter-high tower has become not only a symbol of the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona but also the city. It was built by order of the Spanish telecommunications concern Telefonica to broadcast the Olympic Games. This project combines sculptural performance with engineering. Santiago Calatrava Oculus installed a sliding door that opens like an eye.
Lyon-Saint-Exupéry Railway Station, Satolas, 1989-1994
The building resembles a sculpture by Calatrava, which depicts a bird in flight. The station roof consists of four steel arches. A V-shaped concrete support element fixes them at the convergence point in the western part, and on the opposite side – two steel supports. The transparency and lightness of the structure are provided by glazing. The project also includes a covered walkway and a 180-meter gallery that connects the station to the airport.
Residential Complex in Wührenlingen, 1987-1996
One of the few residential projects in Santiago Calatrava New York. The architect received an order for the construction of this complex while working on a temporary pavilion for the Swissbau exhibition, where he received the Santiago Calatrava awards. The main condition of the client was that concrete should become the main building material. The upper floor of the building is supported by pillars, which have minimized the use of the floor space occupied by the house. The kitchen and dining room were located on the first floor and the bedrooms on the second.
Now you have learned who is Santiago Calatrava and many other very interesting facts about this architect, we hope you enjoyed our article.
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