Santiago Calatrava is one of our greatest living architects. His constructions ranging from the TGV railway station in Lyons to the Milwaukee Art Museum to the Opera in Valencia stand out due to their forms and their spectacular organic structures. In his work, Calatrava draws inspiration from nature, but also explores cutting-edge technologies. In Belgium, the recently completed Liège-Guillemins train station is one the most striking achievements in contemporary architecture. And yet, Calatrava’s go far beyond the merely sensational. His creative process is grounded in the very principles that Vitruvius applied in Antiquity. Calatrava has succeeded in adapting the ancient triad of utilitas (functionality), firmitas (solidity) and venustas (beauty) to the requirements of the present age.
Not content with being only an architect, Calatrava is also an artist. Over and beyond his sketches and drawings, he sculpts and makes furniture and glassworks works of art that serve as laboratories for his architectural projects. He begins with drawing, then moves to creating sculptures and developing structures, and ends up by working on the plans for his buildings. His work as an architect and as an artist thus form an organic whole. His artistic output is finally receiving the attention it so richly deserves, and these intermediate stages of his work give us a better understanding of the origin and development of his remarkable architecture.
Accompanies the “Santiago Calatrava. Peintre, sculpteur, céramiste” exhibition at the Grand Curtius, in Liège – Belgium (from 27 May til 20 September 2010).