Olympic Stadium in Athens
The roof of Calatrava's Olympic Stadium for the Summer 2004 games in Athens, resembles two bent leaves, made of tubular steel. Given the difficulties in constructing these while work was going on with other buildings, Calatrava arranged to have them prefabricated in another location. The arches over the roof mirror many of Calatrava's sketches of bodies in motion, a particularly apt metaphor for an athletic venue.

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Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Calatrava beat out 77 other architects to win the commission for the addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum, a structure designed in 1957 by Eero Saarinen as a War Memorial overlooking Lake Michigan. Calatrava's plan for a 27-meter-high glass and steel reception hall, shaded by a a spiky wing called a brise soleil, won him the job. The wings of the brise soleil can move, except when the winds off the lake top 40 mph. When open, the structure appears, from the city side, to be a giant gull, about to take flight over the lake.
Liege-Guillemins Railway Station, Liege, Belgium
The Liege-Guillemins Railway Station links French trains to Cologne, Germany, and on to Northern Europe. As such, it's a key transportation hub for the region. But Calatrava also saw the station's potential to link two sides of Liege--a rundown urban area on the north side and the lanscaped residential area on the south. Calatrava has said his goal was to use the station as a locus for urban redevelopment, with a plaza and an avenue linking the transportation hub to the city's river.
Tenerife Auditorium, Santa Cruz de Tererife
The 2003 Tenerife Auditorium in Spain's Canary Islands, is one of Calatrava's most visually spectacular structures, echoing Jorn Utzon's Sydney Opera House. The original sketches for the building began with shapes that looked like sting rays, hinting at the natural forms that are often Calatrava's inspiration. He used similar shapes in the Lyon-St. Exupery Airport Railway Station.
Oriente Railway Station, Lisbon, Portugal
Some critics have suggested that the pillars in the Oriente Station in Lisbon, Portugal resemble da Vinci's Vetruvian man or Christ on the Cross. Calatrava's original sketches put the station in the midst of a grove of trees on a hill, and the arboreal forms of the support beams do, indeed, resemble a forest. providing an interesting contrast to the very urban experience of a train station.
Oriente Railway Station, Lisbon, Portugal
Calatrava's genius is in making massive spaces seem light and airy, often eschewing the use of big support columns. His structures are frequently painted white, which succeeds in giving them a more ethereal appearance, but generally requires more maintenance.
City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia, Spain
Valencia's City of Arts and Sciences complex includes three monumental Calatrava buildings: a planetarium and IMAX theater whose design was inspired by a human eyeball; a science museum whose exoskeleton mimics the branches of a tree or a set of ribs; and an opera house, whose roof is comprised of two concrete shells, with cut-away sections to let in the light.
Agora, City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia, Spain
Valencia officials conceived the Arts and Sciences Center project as a way of rehabilitating a run-down area of the city that was plagued with toxic waste and abandoned industries, whose major businesses had become drug trafficking and prostitution. While the project is architecturally stunning, critics have complained that the complex's massive scale is dehumanizing. The Agora will be a multi-use complex, and the final structure in the project, which is scheduled to be finished in spring 2010.
Peace Bridge, Calgary, Canada
Calatrava's controversial Peace Bridge in Calgary was designed with many constraints in mind. The pedestrian span, over the Bow River, needed to be enclosed, given the area's fierce winters; it had to be low-rise, given the city's environmental restrictions; plus, it needed to stay on budget, a challenge made more difficult by the world's economic collapse in 2009. Recently, Calatrava worked with the construction company building the bridge to revise some elements of the design so that it could stay within its $18M budget.
Peace Bridge, Calgary, Canada
Calatrava painted the Peace Bridge red as a tribute to Canada's national color, and as a contrast to the city's white winters. It's a dramatic departure from Calatrava's customary bridges, which tend to be soaring, cable-stayed structures.
Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, Dallas
This bridge, which is currently rising over the Trinity River in Dallas, is the first of two Calatrava bridges scheduled to rise in the area. It's part of a massive plan to rehabilitate the western bank of the river, which had been cut off from the city when the river was rerouted following the devastating flood of 1908. It will also jump-start the development of the Trinty River basin into a major recreational area.
World Trade Center Transportation Hub, New York, NY
The WTC Transportation Hub will include a massive underground shopping complex, as well as platforms for the trains. Calatrava's original design was intended to suffuse the space with natural light, a goal that has gotten more difficult as plans for other above-ground structures have taken precedence over his original plan.
World Trade Center Transportation Hub, New York, NY
The profile of the WTC train station evokes many comparisons. Some viewers see the skeletal remains of the fallen towers in its jagged roof line. Others see the silhouette of a prehistoric stegosaurus, lumbering through New York's downtown. But Calatrava based his design on the idea of the wings of a dove. Originally, the wings were designed to open every year on Sept. 11, but budget constraints nixed that expensive--and expansive--plan.

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The Architecture of Santiago Calatrava

Spanish starchitect Santiago Calatrava's portfolio is an eclectic one. He's designed massive infrastructure projects like the recently-inaugurated train station in Liege, Belgium, iconic arts venues like the opera house in Tenerife, lyrical bridges in Dallas, California, and Holland and, soon, sets for the New York City ballet. Often, his designs begin with a raft of watercolor drawings, and many reflect the influence of nature, not unlike his countryman, Antoni Gaudi. Here's a selection of some of his best-known projects.

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