Santiago Calatrava

Santiago Calatrava

3 Pages · 2003 · 121 KB · English

Santiago Calatrava Spotlight on Design Lecture National Building Museum March 9, 2003 For a quarter of a century Santiago Calatrava has integrated architecture and

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Santiago Calatrava Spotlight on Design Lecture National Building Museum March 9, 2003 For a quarter of a century Santiago Calatrava has integrated architecture and engineering to produce dynamic and beautiful architectural forms. On March 9, Calatrava presented a number of projects by his firm, which has offices in Zurich, Paris, and Valencia, Spain. His talk focused on the theories that have inspired his work as a designer and engineer. Calatrava's first years of higher education were at an art school in Valencia. After studying art and architecture, he earned a doctorate in civil engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zürich. It was not until he had worked in pure mechanics that he began "learning the job of working as an architect." Observing physics in everyday life, particularly the skeletal system in ani- mals, Calatrava developed a sensibility about elemental mechanics that has inspired his work over the last 24 years. Calatrava's approach early in his career, as seen in the Water Sculpture at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (1980) and the high school in Wohlen, Switzerland (1988), was "about trying to learn from nature, to re-observe, to define how things work, like a palm tree…or like a flower." In 1992, he exhibited a shadow machine at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. This project was composed of ribs that moved in a pulsating manner, reminiscent of the act of breathing. The project also "was interesting because the ribs in the ground have shadows, and the shadows moved a little bit like the branches of a weeping willow." During the late 1980s, Calatrava designed BCE Place in Toronto, Canada (1992). Much of the architectural vocabulary and ideas for this steel-and-glass galleria used the formal vocabulary he introduced in some of his earlier projects, such as the school and the shadow machine. According to him, "There is a constant in the works that I have done. Whenever

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