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Santiago Calatrava Wins European Steel Design Award for His Bridges at Reggio Emilia
The three bridges in Reggio Emilia, Italy, were inaugurated in late 2007. Photo: EFE
BARCELONA.- Valencian engineer and architect Santiago Calatrava has been distinguished with the European Steel Design Award for his three bridges on the A1 Motorway in the city of Reggio Emilia, Italy, according to sources from his office.

The award is given by the European Convention for Constructional Steelwork (ECCS) and it will be awarded during an international congress on construction with metal structures. The event will be held in Barcelona on September 16-18.

Architect, artist, and engineer Santiago Calatrava was born on July 28, 1951, in Valencia, Spain.

Calatrava attended primary and secondary school in Valencia. From the age of eight, he also attended the Arts and Crafts School, where he began his formal instruction in drawing and painting. When he was thirteen, his family took advantage of the recent opening of the borders and sent him to France as an exchange student. Upon completing high school in Valencia, he went to Paris with the intention of enrolling in the École des Beaux-Arts; but as he arrived in June 1968 during a period of student boycotts, he found his plan was unworkable. He returned to Valencia and enrolled in the Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura, a relatively new institution, where he earned a degree in architecture and took a post-graduate course in urbanism. While at the school, he also undertook independent projects with a group of fellow students, bringing out two books on the vernacular architecture of Valencia and Ibiza.

Attracted by the mathematical rigor of certain great works of historic architecture, and feeling that his training in Valencia had given him no clear direction, Calatrava decided to pursue post-graduate studies in civil engineering and enrolled in 1975 at the ETH (Federal Institute of Technology) in Zurich. He received his Ph.D. in 1981.Ph.D. thesis: Concerning the Foldability of Spaceframes. It was during this period that he met and married his wife, who was a law student in Zurich.

After completing his studies, he took on small engineering commissions, such as designing the roof for a library or the balcony of a private residence. He also began to enter competitions, believing this to be the most likely way to secure commissions. His first winning competition proposal, in 1983, was for the design and construction of Stadelhofen Railway Station in Zurich, the city in which he established his first office.

In 1984, Calatrava, designed and built the Bach de Roda Bridge in Barcelona. This was the beginning of the bridge projects that established his international reputation. Among the other notable bridges that followed were the Alamillo Bridge and Cartuja Viaduct, commissioned for the World’s Fair in Seville (1987-92); the Campo Volantin Footbridge in Bilbao (1990-97); and the Alameda Bridge and Metro Station in Valencia (1991-95).

Calatrava established his firm’s second office, in Paris, in 1989, when he was working on the Lyon Airport Station (1989-94). He opened his third office, in Valencia, in 1991 to facilitate work on a competition, a very large cultural complex and urban intervention there, the City of Arts and Sciences, to which Calatrava buildings are still being added. Other large-scale public projects from the late 1980s and 1990s include the BCE Place Galleria in Toronto (1987-92), the Lyon—Saint Exupéry Airport Railway Station, Satolas, France (1989-94), and the Oriente railway station in Lisbon (1993-98, commissioned for Expo ’98).

Exhibitions of Calatrava’s work were first mounted in 1985, with a showing of nine sculptures in an art gallery in Zurich. A new stage in recognition was marked by two solo exhibitions: a retrospective at the Royal Institute of British Architects, London, in 1992, and the exhibition Structure and Expression at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1993. The latter exhibition included an installation in the museum’s Sculpture Garden of Shadow Machine, a large-scale sculpture with undulating concrete “fingers.” Santiago Calatrava:

Artist, Architect, Engineer, an exhibition of architectural models, sculpture and drawings was presented at the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, Italy (2000 - 2001). Similar exhibitions were mounted in 2001 in Dallas, Texas (to inaugurate the new Meadows Museum) and in Athens, at the National Gallery, Alexandro Soutzos Museum, and in 2003 at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. In 2005 two solo exhibitions of his work as an artist were mounted in New York, one at the Metropolitan Museum of Art titled Santiago Calatrava: Sculpture into Architecture and the second at the Queen Sofia Spanish Institute, Clay and Paint: Ceramics and Watercolors by Santiago Calatrava. In 2006 the exhibition Obra Reciente y Proceso de Creación de Santiago Calatrava was shown in Oviedo, Spain, at the University. In 2007 Es Baluard Museo d’Art Modern i Contemporani de Palma in Majorca presented Santiago Calatrava: Escultures, Dbuixos i Ceràmiques and Santiago Calatrava: dalle forme all’architettura was exhibited at the Quirinale Palace in Rome.

Projects completed since 2000 include Sondica Airport, Bilbao, Spain (2000); Pont de l’Europe, Orléans, France (2000); Bodegas Ysios winery in Laguardia, Spain (2001); Puente de la Mujer in Buenos Aires (2001); Calatrava’s fi rst building in the United States—the expansion of the Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (2001); James Joyce Bridge, Dublin, Ireland (2003); Auditorio de Tenerife, Santa Cruz, Canary Islands (2003); Three Bridges over the Hoofdvaart, Hoofdoorp, Holland (2004); Sundial Bridge, Redding, California, his fi rst bridge in the United States (2004); Athens Olympic Sports Complex (2004); Zurich University Law Faculty (2004); and Turning Torso Tower, Malmö, Sweden (2005); Petah Tikah Bridge, Israel (2006); and the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía (2006), the most recent major building in Valencia’s City of Arts and Sciences, Three Bridges in Reggio Emilia, Italy - part of a complex that will include a new high speed railway station for the city (2007), Light Rail Way Bridge in Jerusalem, Israel (2008), Quarto Ponte sul Canal Grande, Venice, Italy (2008), and Serrería Bridge in Valencia, Spain (2008).

Santiago Calatrava | Valencia | European Steel Design Award | Reggio Emilia | Italy |


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