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Leaking Water Becomes Latest Setback for the World Trade Center Hub

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.

Santiago Calatrava Awarded the European Prize for Architecture

The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design and the European Centre for Architecture, Art, Design and Urban Studies have announced Santiago Calatrava as the winner of their 2015 European Prize for Architecture. Calling Calatrava "a visionary theorist, philosopher and utopian and a true artist in the craft of engineering and architectonic expressionism," president of the Chicago Athenaeum Christian Narkiewicz-Laine noted that "it is significant that The European Prize for Architecture honors Calatrava as an architect, engineer, sculptor, and painter.”

Santiago Calatrava Discusses the WTC Transportation Hub

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.

AD Interviews: Santiago Calatrava

Earlier this year we had the chance to interview Spanish-born architect Santiago Calatrava in his New York apartment. Trained first as a structural engineer, he has designed and completed over 50 projects, which include bridges, transportation hubs, theaters and even a skyscraper. Calatrava has built a career through public architecture, and thanks to open competitions he has received commissions for mostly large-scale, cultural and transport projects. Many cities around the world—from Europe to the US and Asia and beyond—can proudly lay claim to the structurally dramatic projects that Calatrava has dreamed up. 

His architectural explorations fuse engineering and art, and result in impressive structures that are honest in revealing the forces at play. In this respect, he is a pioneer; when working on his earliest projects, he didn’t have access to software and tools that are ubiquitous today. 

We asked him about his definition of architecture, his high-profile commission for the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, and the challenges he has faced while running his practice. The WTC hub is one of Calatrava's most-anticipated projects in New York; though its inherent complexity has resulted in a long construction period, he has created a project rich in not only form, but also in spatial quality.

Some of Calatrava's projects use an almost modern-day gothic vocabulary—where big spans, vaults and thin lines define large spaces. Other works, such the St. Nicholas Cathedral in New York, mobilize larger masses and big, stacked walls.

Watch the interview above to learn how Calatrava sees the intersection of art and architecture. 

Florida Polytechnic Science, Innovation and Technology Campus / Santiago Calatrava © Alan Karchmer for Santiago Calatrava Inside Santiago Calatrava's WTC Transportation Hub in New York © Michael Muraz Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge / Santiago Calatrava © Alan Karchmer AD Classics: Bac de Roda Bridge / Santiago Calatrava © Flickr littleeve /

Santiago Calatrava's Florida Polytechnic Building Named "Project of the Year"

Santiago Calatrava's Innovation, Science and Technology (IST) Building at Florida Polytechnic University has picked up another award, this time being named "Project of the Year" by Engineering News-Record. The "centerpiece" of the new Floridian university, which was also masterplanned by Calatrava, the 162,000-square-foot building was recently awarded "Best in Steel Construction" by the AISC. 

“Educating, particularly young people, is one of the most noble tasks that exist,” said Calatrava in response to the award. “The Innovation, Science and Technology Building aims to be itself a tool to achieve the highest level of education for young people. 

Santiago Calatrava Tops Out on Dallas' Margaret McDermott Bridge

Santiago Calatrava has topped out on his second Dallas bridge - the Margaret McDermott Bridge - two years after completing the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. The steel arch, reaching a height of 275 feet, is the first of two that will support the 1311-foot-long bridge that is intended to provide access to pedestrians, bicyclists and cars over the Trinity River. The $113 million bridge is part of the massive $798 million Dallas Horseshoe Project that aims to alleviate traffic and enhance accessibility downtown. It is scheduled to complete by the summer of 2017. 

Santiago Calatrava's Turning Torso Wins CTBUH's 10 Year Award

Rotating a full 90 degrees along nine pentagonal sections, Santiago Calatrava's "Turning Torso" was deemed the world's first twisting skyscraper upon its completion in 2005. Still Scandinavia's tallest tower, the 190-meter Malmö skyscraper has been awarded a 10 Year Award by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) for its continued valued to the surrounding area and successful performance across a number of categories, including environmental, engineering performance, vertical transport, iconography, and others.

“The Twisting Torso is one of those superb examples that went beyond the creation of a signature tower and helped shape an entirely new and invigorating urban fabric,” said Timothy Johnson, Vice Chairman, CTBUH Board of Trustees and Partner, NBBJ

Inside Santiago Calatrava's WTC Transportation Hub in New York

© Michael Muraz
© Michael Muraz

Toronto-based architectural photographer Michael Muraz has shared with us some of the first images seen inside Santiago Calatrava's nearly complete World Trade Center Transportation Hub. Set to open this year, the "glorious" birdlike structure boasts a 355-foot-long operable "Oculus" - a "slice of the New York sky - that floods the hub's interior with natural light, all the way down 60-feet below street level to the PATH train platform. 

Though its been shamed for being years overdue and $2 billion over budget (making it the world's most expensive transit hub), the completed project is turning heads. Take a look for yourself after the break. 

© Michael Muraz © Michael Muraz © Michael Muraz © Michael Muraz

Spotlight: Santiago Calatrava

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.

Construction Well Underway on Santiago Calatrava’s Museum of Tomorrow in Rio de Janeiro

Construction of Santiago Calatrava’s Museu do Amanhã (Museum of Tomorrow) in Rio de Janeiro is underway and on-track to be completed in the second half of 2015. Located on the Pier Mauá, the museum will encompass a 15,000m2 built area and include gardens, leisure areas, bike paths, and a reflective pool, totaling over 30,000m2. The ground floor of the museum will include a store, auditorium, temporary exhibit rooms, a restaurant, administrative offices and space for research and educational activities. The upper floor, connected to the ground floor with ramps, will include long-term exhibits, a café and a panoramic lookout. 

© Paul Clemence © Paul Clemence © Paul Clemence © Paul Clemence

Santiago Calatrava's City of Arts and Sciences Stars in Disney's "Tomorrowland"

Santiago Calatrava's City of Arts and Sciences has taken a starring role in Tomorrowland, Disney's latest blockbuster. Located in the former riverbed of the Turia in Valencia, Spain, the City of Arts and Sciences comprises a cinema (L'Hemisfèric), a landscaped walk and sculpture garden (L'Umbracle), the Príncipe Felipe Science Museum, the largest aquarium in Europe (L'Oceanográfico), and the renowned Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia. The complex was constructed in stages commencing in July 1996, and opened to the public in October 2005. Unique and strikingly futuristic, the iconic group of buildings caught the eye of Tomorrowland producer Jeffrey Chernov, who spoke effusively of the building at a recent press conference for the film.

"Calatrava's architecture is just phenomenal and inventive and exciting. It's very skeletal, like you're looking at the vertebrae of a dinosaur or prehistoric fish," said Chernov. "You walk into that place and you never want to leave. That's the vibe we wanted for Tomorrowland."

Santiago Calatrava Commissioned to Design His First Bridge in China

The Hubei United Investment Group (HUIG) has commissioned Santiago Calatrava to design three major highway and pedestrian bridges in the AECOM-masterplanned city of Huashan, 12 miles east of downtown Wuhan. The bridges will be Calatrava's first project in China. They will span a new man-made canal that bisects Huashan's urban center and connects two lakes that feed the Yangtze River. 

“It gives me great personal satisfaction and represents a grand challenge that I face with great enthusiasm to help develop this ambitious project that enables me to design my first bridges in the Far East," says Calatrava. 

Santiago Calatrava's Florida Polytechnic Building Awarded "Best in Steel Construction" by AISC

Last week, the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) presented its Innovation Design in Engineering and Architecture with Structural Steel Awards program. Recognizing exemplary work in steel for both its architectural and structural merits, the AISC awarded Santiago Calatrava's Innovation, Science, and Technology (IST) building at Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland, Florida with the national award in the $15 million to $75 million category.

6 Takeaways From NYMag's Article On Calatrava's $4 Billion WTC Station

Ask any person involved in the construction of Santiago Calatrava's World Trade Center Transportation Hub, and they will probably admit that the world's most expensive train station has not been a PR success. In fact things have gotten so bad that a recent article by Andrew Rice for New York Magazine describes the gradual opening of the building later this year as coming "at long last and great cost, to both the government and his reputation," adding that "a decade ago, Calatrava would have made any short list of the world’s most esteemed architects. Today, many within the profession are aghast at what they see as his irresponsibility."

But, unlike much of the press coverage that has greeted Calatrava in recent years, the New York Magazine article is much more forgiving, taking the time to investigate the twists and turns of the project's controversial 12-year history and offering the architect the opportunity to give his side of the story. Read on after the break for a breakdown of six takeaways from the article.

Defining a More Purposeful Architecture: A Guide to Current Architectural Trends

The current state of architectural design incorporates many contemporary ideas of what defines unique geometry. With the advent of strong computer software at the early 21st century, an expected level of experimentation has overtaken our profession and our academic realms to explore purposeful architecture through various techniques, delivering meaningful buildings that each exhibit a message of cultural relevancy.

These new movements are not distinct stylistic trends, but modes of approaching concept design. They often combine with each other, or with stylistic movements, to create complete designs. Outlined within this essay are five movements, each with varying degrees of success creating purposeful buildings: Diagramism, Neo-Brutalism, Revitism, Scriptism, and Subdivisionism.

Video: Santiago Calatrava On His Design For Ground Zero's Only Non-Secular Building

In a film for the BBC Magazine, Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava talks through his designs for the new St. Nicholas Church - the only non-secular building on the 9/11 Memorial site. The building, which broke ground last year, has been described by Calatrava as a "tiny jewel" for lower Manhattan, comprising of a white Vermont marble shrine sat beneath a translucent central cupola that is illuminated from within. The new church, of Greek Orthodox denomination, replaces a church of the same name which was destroyed during the attacks of . It is sited close to its original location on 130 Liberty Street, overlooking the National September 11 Memorial park and museum. With the building set to open in early 2016, Calatrava discusses the key conceptual ideas and references behind its unique, controversial design.

In Defense of Santiago Calatrava

In recent years, few architects have had a tougher time in the media than Santiago Calatrava. Whether it's his repeated legal battles over leaking roofs and peeling facades, the unceremonious death of his Chicago Spire project, or the media firestorm over his New York Transportation Hub that is $2 billion over budget, Calatrava has become a poster boy for those who criticize the supposed arrogance of today's architects. However, in an engaging article for FastCo Design, Karrie Jacobs responds to what seems to be "a concerted effort to shore up his reputation," coming to the defense of this "unreconstructed aesthete." Read the article in full here.

New York’s $4 Billion Train Station Takes Shape

Santiago Calatrava’s head-turning World Trade Center Transportation Hub has assumed its full form, nearly a decade after its design was revealed. In light of this, the New York Times has taken a critical look at just how the winged station’s budget soared. “Its colossal avian presence may yet guarantee the hub a place in the pantheon of civic design in New York. But it cannot escape another, more ignominious distinction as one of the most expensive and most delayed train stations ever built.” The complete report, here