Thursday, February 10, 2011

introduction to Calatrava

slightly belated review of:

Calatrava
by Philip Jodidio
Taschen 2007

I’ve been intrigued by Santiago Calatrava’s architecture since seeing the station at Liege Guillemins just before it was completed. At that point, not knowing much and wanting to find out more, I found this little Taschen book the perfect introduction. There are short (2-6 pages) chapters on each building and a 15-page introduction.

As a scientist at the interface between life sciences and physical sciences, I am of course particularly attracted to Calatrava’s characteristic way of taking inspiration from soft, living, moving creatures and using it for his structures, giving them a life of their own. Biology shines through everywhere in his work, and the book is good in pointing this out, using some of the architect’s sketches as well. The photos are brilliant, too, though it may well be physically impossible to make a boring photo of anything designed by Calatrava - even my photos succeed, see below.

Most importantly, the book contains a world map with the locations of his buildings at the end, very handy for planning travels to see as many of his works as possible (so far I’ve seen his completed works at Liege, Barcelona, Sevilla, and Lyon).

PS here's one of my photos of the station at the airport Lyon-St.Exupery:

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