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Design Inspiration: Calatrava

Today we are paying homage to Santiago Calatrava Valls, commonly known to most simply as ‘Calatrava.’  Folks, the man has achieved the one name status (think Madonna, Cher, Prince, just to name a few) because he is that awesome!

Calatrava is a Spanish architect, sculptor and structural engineer who has offices in Switzerland, Paris, Spain, and New York City. Calatrava graduated with an undergraduate degree in architecture and a post-graduate course in urbanism from Polytechnic University of Valencia, Spain. He also completed graduate work in civil engineering and completed his doctoral thesis in Switzerland, tilted “On the Foldability of architecture and engineering practice.” This would be a very fitting title for most of Calatrava’s work as he is known for composing beautiful and complex bridges, landmarks, and walkways that are the most eloquent blend of architecture and engineering.

Calatrava’s early work was mostly comprised of bridges and train stations, until he designed the Montjuic Communications Tower in  Barcelona, in the heart of the 1992 Olympic site, which led to a wide array of other commissions.  The Quadracci Pavilion (2001) of the Milwaukee Art Museum was his first building in the United States.

Calatrava is currently designing the future train station – World Trade Center Transportation Hub – at the rebuilt World Trade Center in New York City.

Some examples of Calatrava’s work:

PATH terminal at the WTC in NYC proposed + chosen design

Alamillo Bridge, Seville, Spain

Oriente Station, Lisbon, Portugal

Lyon Airport Railway Station, Lyon, France

Milwaukee Art Museum

Lovely, it’s all simply lovely! Although our work is nowhere near the size, scale, and type of Architecture that Calatrava designs, we take inspiration from his use of forms, space, and structural connections and design. Calatrava’s work is not only sophisticated and elegant, but it’s also timeless ~ something all designers should only hope to achieve in all of our work.