5 ARCHITECTURAL AND ENGINEERING MARVEL’S OF SANTIAGO CALATRAVA

Spain, Valencia City, the city of Arts and Science built by Calatrava
Spain, Valencia City, the city of Arts and Science built by Calatrava Photo: Calle Montes/Getty Images

Santiago Calatrva—known for his gleaming white, sky-high designs—has captivated the globe with soaring structural feats since he began designing modern architecture as a student in Valencia, Spain. His style has been described as distinctly neo-Futurist for its innovative use of materials and sleek, forward-thinking aesthetic.

But Calatrava’s artistic sensibility hasn’t been limited strictly to architecture—he is also an accomplished sculptor and painter, creating a body of work on a smaller scale that, in turn, informs his fluid, dreamlike buildings. While his oeuvre spans many kinds of structures, his commitment to building inspiring civic spaces—from bridges to train stations to cultural arenas—and his seamless integration of architectural design and structural engineering have earned him numerous awards, including an appointment to the Pontifical Council of Culture in 2011 by Pope Benedict XVI.

G-Webcasters has put together a collection of his most recognized architectural and engineering achievements.

AUDITORIO DE TENERIFE

  • The auditorium is located on the waterfront in the Los Llanos are of Santa Cruz, the capital of Tenerife.
  • Auditorio de Tenerife on the coast of the Atlantic is emblematic of Spanish architecture
  • Due to the slender form of the building, the use of concrete for the realization of the structure was inevitable. A wide range of formwork expertise was required in order to complete this concert hall: TRIO panel formwork for the foundations, climbing formwork for symmetrically-arranged round and curved sail-like walls.
  • With the design of this spectacular structure, architect Santiago Calatrava has defied the basics of conventional architecture. Three different construction elements, which he described as “wings”, “nut” and “sail”, characterize the 58 m high building.
  • Auditorio de Tenerife on the coast of the Atlantic is emblematic of Spanish architecture

The Tenerife Auditorium, designed by the architect Santiago Calatrava, falls within the tenets of late modernist architecture of the end of the century. Following the words of its architect, the origin of these forms is part of a gesture of self-marked plastic intention, which makes the artistic nature of the activities inside transcend to the outside.

Its construction began in 1997 and ended in 2003, and was inaugurated on September 23 of that year

The building, described architectural engineering, “has no facade…” and it produces “multiple suggestions”. To some, it has the form “of a wave, for others, moon, or hull or a huge tongue.” In any case, Calatrava is happy to be “suggestive” because “so too is the music.”
According to some commentators, the Tenerife Auditorium has two characteristics. “The first is its opening to the outside, both at sea and the city, with spacious terraces and a pedestrian mall which crosses the building from side to side. The second, due to an expressive stroke of Calatrava, the Auditorium has the design of a giant organic sculpture…, however, is a building that always keeps fresh with the wave of music.”

If one moves away from the structure, and places it against the seashore, the auditorium looks like a mountain of foam about to crash against the rocks on the coast.

THE QUADRACCI PAVILLION

  • The Quadracci Pavilion/gwebcasters.com
  • The Quadracci Pavilion/gwebcasters.com
  • The Quadracci Pavilion

The Quadracci Pavilion is the iconic sculptural addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum designed by Santiago Calatrava. The Spanish architect was inspired by the “dramatic, original building by Eero Saarinen…the topography of the city” and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie-style architecture.

The 142,050-square-foot structure was completed in 2001 and houses a grand reception hall, an auditorium, a large exhibition space, a store, two cafés, and parking. Both cutting-edge technology and old-world craftsmanship went into creating the graceful building, which was made largely by pouring concrete into one-of-a-kind wooden forms.

Windhover Hall is the grand reception hall and among the pavilion’s many architectural highlights. Complete with flying buttresses, pointed arches, ribbed vaults, and a central nave topped by a 90-foot-high glass roof, it is Calatrava’s interpretation of a Gothic cathedral. An average-sized, two-story family home would fit comfortably inside it. The hall’s chancel is shaped like the prow of a ship, with floor-to-ceiling windows looking over Lake Michigan. Adjoining the central hall are two tow-arched promenades, the Baumgartner Galleria and Schroeder Galleria, with expansive views of the lake and downtown.

According to Santiago Calatrava, the Quadracci Pavilion’s design “responds to the culture of the lake: the sailboats, the weather, the sense of motion and change.” And “in the crowning element of the brise soleil,” he stated, “the building’s form is at once formal (completing the composition), functional (controlling the level of light), symbolic (opening to welcome visitors), and iconic (creating a memorable image for the Museum and the city).”

O’HARE GLOBAL TERMINAL

  • The O’Hare Global Terminal by Santiago Calatrava
  • The O’Hare Global Terminal by Santiago Calatrava/gwebcastes.com

The O’Hare Global Terminal by Santiago Calatrava redefines the modern terminal with a masterwork of civic architecture. Framed by a glass façade and a dramatic shell-like roof that soars over the forecourt, the building unifies the central terminal area while establishing itself as the singular identity for O’Hare.

The vaulted, light-filled terminal hall recalls the grandeur of bygone travel and unifies all activities around a departures and arrivals hall featuring retail outlets within a verdant garden. A grand central space provides visitors with clear visibility and intuitive wayfinding. References to Chicago iconography – the Chicago “Y” which is found on many buildings around the city – help enliven convenient links to adjacent terminals, airport satellites, and an improved public transit interface.

A future Vision plan proposed by Calatrava transforms the area opposite the Terminal into a vibrant park-like complex.

CITY OF ARTS AND SCIENCES

  • City of Arts and Sciences | Santiago Calatrava
  • The Valencia Opera House is conceived as the final element in the City of Arts and Sciences complex, designed by Santiago Calatrava on an 86-acre site along the dry bed of the Turia River.
  • City of Arts and Sciences | Santiago Calatrava/gwebcasters.com
  • The Valencia Opera House is conceived as the final element in the City of Arts and Sciences complex, designed by Santiago Calatrava on an 86-acre site along the dry bed of the Turia River. The Valencia Opera House is conceived as the final element in the City of Arts and Sciences complex, designed by Santiago Calatrava on an 86-acre site along the dry bed of the Turia River.

The City of Arts and Sciences, developed by Santiago Calatrava, is a large-scale urban recreation center for culture and science. Set in the old dried-up river bed of Turia, midway between the old city of Valencia and the coastal district of Nazaret, this city covers an area of 350,000 square meters.

The predominant idea of the project was to restore the neglected area of Valencia, as well as to provide a linear park that stretches through the city. The project would be one link in a chain, that was designed, to take a leap into the third millennium. The series of five buildings planned for this city will join the cultural axis linearity accompanying a sense of it and will provide an open and public space, also it will add features for the Valencians.

Throughout almost two kilometers, the project has been the hallmark of unsurpassed Calatrava. Often named as a ‘City Within a City’, the creation of the Valencian architect caused amazement and surprise. The project respects the traditions of the Mediterranean Sea and the light blue and white blend with the pseudo-futuristic architecture of the author. The old traditions of the city led to these monumental modern sculpture. In addition, large bodies of water united all parties and gave a sense of work.

HAUS ZUM FALKEN

  • he structure has been designed to integrate with calatrava-designed stadelhofen station

And lastly, the Haus Zum Falken.Santiago Calatrava has unveiled plans for a pioneering Zurich office building that will include approximately 1,000 underground parking spaces for bicycles, beginning a new chapter of transit-oriented design in the Swiss city. The five-story structure will seamlessly integrate with Stadelhofen Station, the Calatrava-designed transit hub and city landmark, and will increase connectivity throughout the metro area.

This 21st century office building in the heart of Zurich interplays with the area’s streetscape and adds to its vibrancy by encouraging bicycle use and improving pedestrians’ connection to the Stadelhofen Station,” said Mr. Calatrava.

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