28 Facts About Santiago Calatrava


Santiago Calatrava Valls was born on 28 July 1951 and is a Spanish architect, structural engineer, sculptor and painter, particularly known for his bridges supported by single leaning pylons, and his railway stations, stadiums, and museums, whose sculptural forms often resemble living organisms.


Santiago Calatrava's Calatrava surname was an old aristocratic one from medieval times, and was once associated with an order of knights in Spain.


Santiago Calatrava had his primary and secondary schooling in Valencia, and, beginning in 1957, studied drawing and painting at the School of Applied Art.


Santiago Calatrava enrolled in the Higher School of Architecture at the Polytechnic University of Valencia.


Santiago Calatrava received his diploma as an architect and then did higher studies in urbanism.


At the beginning of the 1990s, Santiago Calatrava built several remarkable railway stations and bridges, but broadened his portfolio by designing a wider range of structures, including a Canadian shopping center, a new passenger terminal for Bilbao airport, and his first building in the United States, the new structure of the Milwaukee Art Museum.


The Quadracci Pavilion of the Milwaukee Art Museum was Santiago Calatrava's first building in the United States, and his first museum.


Santiago Calatrava's solution was a glass and steel entry hall 2 metres high with a moveable sun screen roof, composed of two large wings made up of twenty-six smaller wings, from 8 to 32 metres in length.


Santiago Calatrava designed a suspension footbridge between the center of the city and edge of the lake.


Santiago Calatrava designed an enormous parabolic arch at the entrance and the Wall of Nations, a mobile sculpture of tubular steel which moves in a wavelike patterns.


The largest group of buildings by Santiago Calatrava is found in his birthplace, Valencia, Spain, and was built in over a decade.


Santiago Calatrava constructed a series of extraordinary bridges, the type of structure which originally brought him global attention, for cities around the world that wanted a symbol of modernity and daring.


Santiago Calatrava's plan combined several small lakes into a central lake, which serves as a setting for the central structure, the Innovation, Science, and Technology building.


The building has several signature Santiago Calatrava features, including an extendable sun scene on the roof, which entirely changes the appearance of the building when deployed, and whose form changes gradually as the sun moves.


The interior design is what Santiago Calatrava calls "archetypal" and simplified, to allow for exhibits in a greater variety of forms and sizes.


Santiago Calatrava designed the WTC Transportation Hub in New York City at the rebuilt World Trade Center at the site of the September 11 attacks in 2001.


Some problems with Santiago Calatrava's projects have been caused by unusual design choices and insufficient testing.


Santiago Calatrava was sued for the cost of repairs on the bridge in Venice and has been condemned in court.


Santiago Calatrava has never described himself as a follower of any particular school or movement of architecture.


Santiago Calatrava himself observed that he was particularly influenced by the work of engineers such as the Swiss Robert Maillart, whose work inspired him to seek simple forms which could create an emotional response.


Santiago Calatrava noted that many 20th century sculptors, such as Alexander Calder, made sculptures that moved.


Santiago Calatrava wrote his own university thesis on "The Flexibility of three-dimensional structures," and described how objects, by moving, could shift from three dimensions to two and even to one.


Santiago Calatrava has received numerous awards for his design and engineering work.


In 2005, Santiago Calatrava was awarded the Eugene McDermott Award by the Council for the Arts of MIT.


Santiago Calatrava is a Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council.


Santiago Calatrava has received a total of twenty-two honorary degrees in recognition of his work.


In 2013, Santiago Calatrava was awarded an honorary doctorate from Georgia Institute of Technology, an award that has only been given to a small number of people.


Two of Santiago Calatrava's sons have completed advanced degrees in Engineering from the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia University in New York City.