Architecture inherently appears to be at odds with our mobile world – while one is static, the other is in constant motion. That said, architecture has had, and continues to have, a significant role in facilitating the rapid growth and evolution of transportation: cars require bridges, ships require docks, and airplanes require airports.
In creating structures to support our transit infrastructure, architects and engineers have sought more than functionality alone. The architecture of motion creates monuments – to governmental power, human achievement, or the very spirit of movement itself. AD Classics are ArchDaily's continually updated collection of longer-form building studies of the world's most significant architectural projects. Here we've assembled seven projects which stand as enduring symbols of a civilization perpetually on the move.
Known for his daring neo-futurist sculptural buildings and over 50 bridges worldwide, Santiago Calatrava (born July 28, 1951) is one of the most celebrated and controversial architects working today. Trained as both an architect and structural engineer, Calatrava has been lauded throughout his career for his work that seems to defy physical laws and imbues a sense of motion into still objects.
Santiago Calatrava has won the competition to design the United Arab Emirates Pavilion for the Dubai World Expo in 2020. Nine finalists submitted 11 concepts that were evaluated on three criteria: their expression of Expo’s theme, “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future,” whether the design was evocative of the UAE, and if a balance was struck between the country’s past and future. Calatrava’s design proposes a 15,000 square meter pavilion with exhibition areas, an auditorium, food and beverage outlets, and VIP lounges. The design is meant to evoke the wings of a falcon in flight, linking itself to the country’s history of falconry to emphasize the country’s present day goals of global connectedness.
Twelve years after Santiago Calatrava revealed his design for the World Trade Center Oculus, the PATH station finally opened to the public in March. Although not officially confirmed by the Port Authority, the total cost of the Oculus is estimated to be nearly four billion dollars - almost double the original budget. The Real Deal has broken down the big-ticket costs that went into the making of the Oculus.
Since it opened to the public two months ago, Santiago Calatrava's World Trade Center Transportation Hub has been the subject of intense debate. Critics and the public alike have tried to answer whether the building, while undeniably unique and striking, was worth the $4 billion price tag that made it the world's most expensive train station. Key to this question's answer will be the way that the building settles into its role as a piece of the city's fabric.
With construction work still surrounding the building - both on the site itself and at the nearby skyscrapers - photographer Laurian Ghinitoiu turned his camera lens onto the station to see how it has been absorbed into the life of the city, capturing the way the structure is revealed from unexpected vantage points and showing how its users react to the sublime internal space of the "oculus."
New images and information has been released regarding Santiago Calatrava's competition-winning design for Dubai's new "landmark" observation tower. Planned for a site in Dubai Creek Harbor, near the Ras Al Khor National Wildlife Sanctuary, the tower was inspired by the "natural forms of the lily and evokes the shape of a minaret, a distinctive architectural feature in Islamic culture."
"The building’s design is inspired by the Islamic tradition, evoking the same history that brought the world the Alhambra and the Mosque of Cordoba. These architectural marvels combine elegance and beauty with math and geometry," commented Calatrava. "The design of the tower of Dubai Creek Harbor is rooted in classical art and the culture of Dubai itself."
Santiago Calatrava's long-awaited World Trade Center Oculus has officially opened. Thanks to EarthCam and the project's contractor Skanska USA, you can watch the $4 billion transportation hub take shape over the course of 42 months in just 65 seconds, from June 2011 to December 2014. For more, see what the critics have to say about the newly opened building here.
Santiago Calatrava has won an international competition to design a "landmark" observation tower in Dubai Creek Harbor. Selected over five other proposals, the design was inspired by Islamic architecture with the intention to "fuse modern, sustainable design with the rich culture and heritage of the United Arab Emirates."
“This architectural wonder will be as great as the Burj Khalifa and the Eiffel Tower,” said Sheikh Mohammed, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates.
Last week marked the opening of Santiago Calatrava's Museum of Tomorrow in Rio de Janeiro. Prior to the its opening, ArchDaily sat down with Calatrava to learn more about the museum's design and how the project's fruition resulted in the removal of an elevated highway that once isolated the city from the harbor.
"The city of Rio de Janeiro is setting an example to the world of how to recover quality urban spaces through drastic intervention and the creation of cultural facilities such as the Museum of Tomorrow and the new Museum of Art,” said Santiago Calatrava. "This vision led us, in our first designs, to propose the addition of a plaza outside the Museum. The plaza creates a more cohesive urban space and reflects the neighborhood’s greater transformation.”
Santiago Calatrava has been commissioned to design a trio of bridges in the Chinese city of Huashan, east of Wuhan. The three steelbridges - Xihu, Xianbi and Lincong - will span 1.5 kilometers of the city's new Yangtze River canal, providing access to pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles.
“Architecture is one of the art forms best able to improve and revitalize cities both artistically and functionally,” said Calatrava. “The Huashan project is a clear example of how an urban element, key to the successful growth of the city, can at the same time improve the quality of life for its citizens, thanks to an integration of all three bridges and the creation of boulevards on the banks of the canal.”
Adding to the controversy surrounding its construction, Santiago Calatrava’s World Trade Center Hub - set to be the world’s most expensive transit hub with a now-estimated budget of $3.7 billion - has delayed its opening until the first half of 2016 due to leaking water, according to an article in The New York Times. The water, originating from the site of an office tower to-be at 3 World Trade Center has been traced back to workers constantly spraying water to handle dust while breaking up concrete, exposing the construction site of 3 World Trade Center to the elements. Though the centerpiece of the Hub, The Oculus, has nearly finished construction, several retail spaces of the Westfield World Trade Center luxury shopping centre have been affected by the leaking and the Westfield Corporation has decided to postpone the move-in of all stores until the problem has been fully addressed. Despite the problems, the Westfield Corporation remains optimistic of the final result that the Oculus will produce and are working aggressively to remedy the leaking.
In this additional scene from our interview with Spanish architect/engineer Santiago Calatrava, the designer discusses the monumental timespan and demanding criteria of his transportation hub for the World Trade Center. Following Calatrava’s aesthetic calling card, the project’s ribbed vocabulary and “birdlike” form features a 355-foot-long operable Oculus - a "slice of the New York sky" - that casts a soft glow onto the pristine white surfaces of the interior. New areas of the building opened to the public this summer, with the project slated for a grand opening this December.