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New Architecture - Essay Example

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Instructor name Date Santiago Calatrava and his Icons of Design The close relationship between art and architecture is undeniable. It is true that architecture inspires and takes its inspiration from other art forms. Thus, architecture can easily be created in such a way as to intentionally become an icon of design…
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Download file to see previous pages Calatrava concentrates most of his attentions on creating forms that highlight the progress of mankind. In doing so, he is attempting to inspire other human beings to new heights of spiritual and natural connection through their experience of his works. Some biographic material is necessary to understand some of Santiago Calatrava's influences and the major theories that have affected his work, but it is only by studying the work itself that one can form an appreciation for how Calatrava manages to address the human within his icons of design. Having grown up in a small rural area of Spain, Calatrava took inspiration from some of the most creative architects of past generations and creates new works of art that remain functional as public structures. Whether creating something as mundane as a communication tower or a high-rise apartment building capable of sheltering the multitudes, Calatrava conveys the beauty of nature's forms within the icons of design he creates. Santiago Calatrava Valls was born in a rural area of Valencia Spain known as Benimamet on July 28, 1951. His love for architecture and building emerged at a young age and he completed his undergraduate work at the Architecture School and Art and Crafts School in Valencia, finishing in 1975. Then he enrolled in the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. It was here that he gained knowledge of civil engineering and began perfecting his ideas for mass human use of structures. After he graduated from this prestigious school in 1981, Calatrava launched his architectural career having already established a high reputation in the field. He increased this reputation by dedicating himself largely to public works projects, such as the construction of bridges and train stations that still managed (Winkelman & Duncan, 2002). One such early piece that illustrates his unique perspective and eye for natural line is the Ernsting Warehouse Doors. They are created to appear more or less like any other warehouse except that the division between the doors resembles a human smile rather than a solid face or a vertical divide down the middle. The magic of these doors takes place as they open. The bottom half of the door folds under the top and the panels flare in such a way that the doors create a flared opening reminiscent of a bazaar tent - reflecting the purpose of the building. Through his work, Calatrava has proven to be either an architect with the soul of a sculptor or a sculptor with the soul of an architect. Some of the architects he takes his influence from include other innovative iconographers Felix Candela, who brought Spanish architecture to world attention, and Antonio Gaudi, another Spanish architect who challenged many of the standards of the Barcelona elite in the execution of his designs. Le Corbusier also had a strong influence on Calatrava, particularly in his emphasis upon using organic forms (Eardley, 2006). Although Calatrava obviously takes inspiration from these earlier architects, he always remains focused upon the inherent forms of the human body and the forms discovered in the natural world when he designs his structures, always keeping the elements of engineering firmly in mind as he considers the use of the finished space and the appeal of its final form. The turning point that made Calatrava a big name in the architectural world came with his construction of the Montjuic Communications Tower in Barcelona. The ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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