I love to feature artists that are innovators and one such person is Santiago Calatrava, the Spanish architect, structural design and analyst engineer, sculptor, and painter. This visionary architect is particularly known for his bridges, railway stations, stadiums, and museums, whose moving sculptural forms often resemble living organisms. I began following his work about 20 years ago and since then he has racked up an impressive amount of sculpturally beautiful structures. He has shown the world what architecture can be by forging his own path, with his awe-inspiring works that have definitely made the world a more beautiful place.
In the early 1990s, Calatrava began adding movable aspects to his buildings. In the Kuwait Pavillion for Expo ’92, he introduced segmented roof pieces that separate and regroup, creating different shapes and lighting effects. This changeable quality reached new heights in his addition to the Milwaukee Wisconsin Museum of Art, which he created with a movable brisé Soleil that resembles the wings of a bird as it opens and closes. In his unique apartment tower in Malmö, Sweden, the sculptural shape is inspired by a twisting spinal column. For the Lyon France Airport Railway Station, he created a building that resembled a bird with outspread wings. Calatrava’s other memorable buildings include the Stadelhofen Railway station in Zürich, the BCE Place Gallery and Heritage Square in Toronto, Tenerife Opera House, and the Valencia Opera House, Arboretum, and Planetarium, shaped like an eye, for the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain. We studied this image in particular and made journals with designs inspired by his work. Of the numerous artists that we have looked at, Calatrava was the one that got the most oohs and ahhhs from the students. The Art Stars have great taste!