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Santiago Calatrava

Announcing the 2015 Laureate - Santiago Calatrava - Spain/Swiss
The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design

About Santiago Calatrava

Santiago Calatrava Valls born 28 July 1951 is a Spanish neofuturistic architect, structural engineer, sculptor and painter. He has offices in New York City, Doha, and Zürich.

Calatrava was born in Benimàmet, an old municipality now integrated as an urban part of Valencia, Spain, where he received a degree in architecture at the Polytechnic University of Valencia. There he completed independent projects with fellow students, publishing two books on the vernacular architecture of Valencia and Ibiza. In 1975 he enrolled in theSwiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich, Switzerland, for a second degree in civil engineering. In 1981, after receiving his doctorate in civil engineering for his thesis, "On the Foldability of Space Frames," he started his architecture and engineering practice.

Calatrava's early career was largely dedicated to bridges and railway stations, with designs that elevated the status of civil engineering projects to new heights. His Montjuic Communications Tower in Barcelona, Spain (1991) in the heart of the 1992 Olympics 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 United States. Calatrava's entry into high-rise design began with an innovative 54-story-high twisting tower called Turning Torso (2005), located in Malmö, Sweden.
Calatrava’s most recent project nearly completion is the Neo-Futuristic railway station, the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, at the rebuilt World Trade Center in New York City.

Calatrava has defined his style as bridging the division between structural engineering and architecture. In his projects, he claims to continue a tradition of Spanish modernist engineering that included Félix Candela, Antonio Gaudí, and Rafael Guastavino, with a very personal style that derives from numerous studies of the human body and the natural world. Architecture critics, however, see his work as a continuation of the neofuturistic expressionism of Eero Saarinen.
Calatrava is also a sculptor and painter, claiming that the practice of architecture combines all the arts into one. In 2003, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City held an exhibition of his artistic and architectural work, entitled Santiago Calatrava: Sculpture Into Architecture.

In 2012, the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg held an exhibition of his work and this was followed up by an exhibition at the Vatican Museum in Rome. 
The Marlborough Gallery in New York is set to exhibit Calatrava’s work in May 2014. Eight of his sculptures will also be displayed along Park Avenue in New York City in the spring of 2015, between 52nd and 55th Streets.  Exhibitions of his work have also taken place in Germany, England, Spain, Italy and elsewhere.

The Florida Polytechnic University, Lakeland, Florida, is the recipient of the 2015 International Architecture Award and the 2015 American Architecture given by The Chicago Athenaeum and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.

Chicago Tower
Chicago Spire, Chicago U.S.A.


Alamilo Bridge, Sevilla, Spain

See more of his works

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