Modern Architecture by Top Architect Santiago Calatrava

Modern Architecture by Top Architect Santiago Calatrava | The last name Calatrava is a world reference when it comes to architecture and engineering. In his beginnings, the Valencian architect moved to Zurich to achieve the most successful mixture: studying engineering. Calatrava chose not to stay just with the architect or engineer title, and start to explore his artistic vein as a painter and sculptor. Perhaps this is why his works are difficult to explain on an aesthetic level, this Spanish top architect is one global reference of the best architecture projects.

“I’m always looking for more light and space.”

Artistic vein

Calatrava’s family had suffered during the political upheavals of the 1930’s in Spain, and saw that an international future was the best opportunity for their child. When he was 13, they took advantage of the travel restrictions release -imposed by the dictator Francisco Franco- and sent him to Paris under a student exchange program.

Later he took classes in Switzerland and also learned German on the way, becoming polyglot with a fluency in seven languages. At this point, Calatrava still hoped to become an artist. He made plans to attend to art school in Paris at the Ecole des Beaux -Arts (School of Fine Arts) but he arrived in the middle of the student protests, and found classes were canceled. Back in Valencia, he decided to attend the Technical University of Architecture. The artistic soul was always there, inside it. 

Modern Architecture by Top Architect Santiago Calatrava - 1

Calatrava’s steps

While studying architecture, Calatrava along with some colleagues, published books of the vernacular architecture of Valencia and Ibiza.

Also in Zurich, he was an assistant at the Institute for Building Construction, static, aerodynamics and light construction, was his first practice of architecture and engineering. Then life leads him to become a member of several associations of architecture.
In 1988, he participated in the 17th Triennial di Milano and a year later, he began his second internship of architecture and engineering in Paris, France. In early 90s he began his third practice of architecture and engineering in Valencia. In 1992 he joined the “Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Carlos” and gets the title of Valencia’s honorary member, later, he received that same title from the University of Seville and the Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh.

The projects

Santiago Calatrava, as a real artist, has periods. His first work was focused on railway stations and by then, projects were different, you can clearly see the innovations he achieved along his trajectory. He has created an amazing architecture portfolio!

Modern Architecture by Top Architect Santiago Calatrava - Alamillo Brigde Calatrava’s Alamillo Bridge – He gained a reputation for his ability to blend advanced engineering solutions with dramatic visual statements, in both bridges and buildings. When Expo ’92 was going to Sevilla, Spain, the city needed to have bridges constructed to allow access to an island that would be used for exhibitions. Calatrava’s Alamillo Bridge, built for this purpose, instantly received international attention. The dramatic structure’s central feature is a 142 meters pylon that inclines asymmetrically away from the river, supporting a span with more than a dozen pairs of cables. The dramatic image, resembling a harp, transformed bridge engineering into a form of sculpture that can invigorate its surrounding landscape.


Modern Architecture by Top Architect Santiago Calatrava - 2 The Montjuic communications tower – 136 meters high, this tower dominate the main group of sporting facilities on the slopes of Montjuic in Barcelona , site of the 1992 Summer Olympics games. This steel tower is located immediately next to the Palau Sant Jordi Arena. The tower became not only the symbolic focus to the Olympic complex but also a landmark for the city.


Modern Architecture by Top Architect Santiago Calatrava - 3 Quadracci Pavilion (2001) Milwaukee Art Museum – this was Calatrava’s first building in USA

Santiago went into the high-rise design projects called Turning Torso (2005), located in Malmo, Sweden. Today his projects, continue the tradition of Spanish modern architecture that includes influences of big names as Felix Candela, Antonio Gaudi, and Rafael Guastavino.


Her we show you some more pictures of his emblematic projects of architecture building:

Modern Architecture by Top Architect Santiago Calatrava - 6 Florida Polytechnic University Campus by Santiago Calatrava


Modern Architecture by Top Architect Santiago Calatrava - 7 Sharq Crossing (Doha Bay, Qatar) – Calatrava’s largest project so far


Modern Architecture by Top Architect Santiago Calatrava - 4 Modern Architecture by Top Architect Santiago Calatrava - 5 World Trade Center Transportation Hub by Santiago Calatrava