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.
What did Pritzker Prize winner Frank Gehry get when he designed the Stata Center, an exuberantly whimsical academic complex for MIT? A very large check, plus a major lawsuit, alleging negligence and breach of contract due to rampant leaks, mold, cracks, drainage problems and sliding ice. Sometimes the most inspired designs can go awry. And when they do, some clients lawyer up. Here are 9 fascinating examples.
As a young boy, Santiago Calatrava's fascination with light in his native Valencia fueled his determination to draw, design, and eventually build. His Ciudad de Artes y Ciencias (City of Arts and Sciences) is a perfect example of the influence of the Valencian sun on the architect's work. The seven cultural buildings define a formal vocabulary all their own, with a dynamism between blanched curves and rhythmic visual patterns. So bright it almost glows on clear days, the materiality of the structures emphasizes the ability of light to outline the spatial relationships between Calatrava's shapes, and shift them as the sun moves through the sky.
In his most recent photo series, Sebastian Weiss has captured the tendency of the shapes of the City of Arts and Sciences to "complement each other and even merge to a harmonic unity," as the photographer himself puts it. The photos were originally featured on his Instagram, @le_blanc, and develop a new way of looking at the oft-photographed tourist spot. His images imagine the complex as a pulsating "light-space installation" of equally systematic and creature-like forms in constant conversation with one another. The series gives the sense of looking at different sections of a particularly beautiful beast—its ribs, underbelly, horns, etc.—captured within the complex's shallow pools.
Earlier this month, Hong Kong-owned developer Knight Dragon revealed plans for an billion-dollar urban-development scheme that will completely transform London’s Greenwich Peninsula. In this edition of Section D, Monocle 24's weekly review of design, architecture and craft, the team speak to Santiago Calatrava—who will be designing the core of this grand new project—about this and his public-spirited design philosophy. Why, they ask, has he’s always wanted to leave a mark on the "Big Smoke?"
Santiago Calatrava has unveiled designs for a £1-billion mixed-use project in Greenwich Peninsula, East London. Named Peninsula Place, the 1.4-million-square-foot (130,000-square-meter) project will be located adjacent to the Roger Stirk Harbour + Partners-designed O2 Arena (formerly known as the Millennium Dome). It will include a new tube and bus station, a theater, cinema and performance venue, bars, shops and a wellbeing hub on the lower levels, with three towers rising above featuring offices, hotels, and apartments. The scheme will also be served by a new land bridge, also designed by Calatrava.
In its latest installment of the Private View series, Nowness has released a short documentary by New-York based filmmaker Alexandra Liveris profiling Santiago Calatrava. In the film, Calatrava discusses his perspective as an artist and an architect, as well as his creative process, mainly within the scope of the World Trade Center Transit Hub.
"You see, the first goal in this place was to deliver something beautiful where such an ugliness was there before,” says Calatrava in the film. “To deliver something optimistic looking to the future where so much sadness and depression was there.”
This article was originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "Seeing the Animal Kingdom in Calatrava's Oculus."
Since its opening in March, Santiago Calatrava's "Oculus" transport hub at the World Trade Center has garnered a lot of criticism for its exorbitant price tag. (The building cost nearly $4 billion to realize.) But look beyond the numbers, and there is something compelling about the physical form of the thing. Like all of Calatrava's work, the structure invites visual interpretations—spiky fish or a bird, a dinosaur or a hedgehog. Architectural designer and illustrator Chanel Dehond riffs on these and more in the following sketches.
The Santiago Calatrava-designed St. Nicholas National Shrine at the World Trade Center has topped out, and capped with a temporary, six-foot-tall cross.
The Byzantine-styled structure was envisioned by Calatrava in 2013 as a non-denominational spiritual center to replace the original St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, located at 155 Cedar Street, which was destroyed on 9/11.
Dubai Design District (d3) has announced the opening of offices by 4 of the world’s leading architecture firms – Zaha Hadid Architects, Santiago Calatrava Architects & Engineers, Foster + Partners and Benoy – marking another step towards the city’s goal of becoming a global design hub.
Since first launching in April 2013, d3 has become the region’s preeminent destination for artists, designers and creative types of all kinds to work and collaborate. So far, d3 has welcomed in over 30 architecture firms of medium to large size, including SSH and Viktor Udzenija, RMJM and Wanders Wagner.
The winners of the 2016 LEAF Awards have been announced. Founded in 2001, the awards ceremony honors innovative architecture projects in 14 different categories dedicated to various aspects of building, including best façade design and engineering, best future building, and public building of the year. The winning projects are recognized as “setting the benchmark for the best in the industry.”
Continue reading to see the full list of winners.
At the ground breaking ceremony this week, officials including His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Excellency Mohammad Al Gergawi, Chairman of Dubai Holding, and Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar Properties, and Micael Calatrava, CEO of Calatrava International announced that upon its completion in 2020, the landmark observation tower will measure in at a height slightly taller than Dubai’s own Burj Khalifa, making it the tallest tower in the world.
“The design and architectural features of The Tower demand unique engineering approaches that are currently being implemented on site. Extensive studies were undertaken in preparation for the groundbreaking, and the learning that we have gained from the experience will add to the knowledge base of mankind,” said Santiago Calatrava.
The winners of the 2016 Leading Culture Destinations Awards have been announced. Presented this past weekend at a ceremony in London, the LCD Awards are given annually to recognize the success of “museums, art organizations, and cultural destinations from around the world [that] are investing in iconic architecture, cross-sector collaborations, [and] audacious programming […] to diversify the experiences offered to visitors and establish their global reputations.”
This year, awards were presented in four categories: Leading Cultural Destination of the Year; Best New Museum of the Year (for museums opened in the past 15 months); Best Soft Power Destination of the Year (a new award for 2016, given to destination who exhibit 'excellence, relevance, transparency, accountability and sustainability'); and the Traveller’s Award for Best Place to Visit.
The overall winner for 2016 was Diller, Scofidio + Renfro’s Broad Museum in Los Angeles. Continue reading to see the full list of winners.
Santiago Calatrava has unveiled plans for a new office building in the city center of Zurich, Switzerland. The new five-story building will be integrated into Stadelhofen Station, the transit hub and city landmark also designed by Calatrava in 1990.
On the 15th anniversary of 9/11 yesterday, the skylights at Santiago Calatrava’s Oculus at the World Trade Center opened for the first time, allowing light to fill the massive space as a memorial to the attacks on the twin towers. Following the masterplan laid out by Daniel Libeskind, Calatrava’s design used the angle of light as a guiding principle for orienting the transportation hub – so that at precisely 10:28 am each September 11th (the time of the collapse of the North Tower), a beam of light would pass through the opening in the roof and project all the way down the center of the Oculus floor.
Hufton+Crow have shared with us their latest set of photographs: Santiago Calatrava’s World Trade Center Transportation Hub in New York City. Hardly requiring an introduction, the spiky structure has opened in stages since last year to mixed critical response, with new retail spaces lining the central “Oculus” space debuting to the public earlier this month.
Continue on for the British duo’s photographic impressions of the ribbed structure.
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.
The Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour, Santiago Calatrava's competition-winning "landmark" residential and observation tower in Dubai, has passed through wind tunnel tests, confirming the structural strength of the project. When complete, the project will constitute the heart of a 6 square kilometer master-planned community set by the historic Dubai Creek and only 10 minutes from the Dubai International Airport.
Read more after the break and check out the visualization of the project above.
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.