Starchitect Profile: Santiago Calatrava's Most Talked-About US Projects
A handful of innovative "starchitects" are shaping the skylines of this era with their forward-looking building design. Here's a look at Spanish architectural visionary Santiago Calatrava, and his recent US endeavors.
Oculus Transportation Hub
Owner: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Calatrava's most popular development underway is the Oculus Transportation Hub at the World Trade Center, which replaced the station destroyed on 9/11. Some of the buzz around this project has been for less than ideal reasons, as it has ended up costing nearly double the original $2B price tag. Still, the Oculus' sublime structure creates a pause amid Lower Manhattan's dense commercial towers, linking a procession of Downtown's green spaces.
St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church
Owner: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese
Calatrava also designed the nearby Greek Orthodox Church—another building destroyed on 9/11. The church's construction also created some controversy, this time as the Archdiocese and the Port Authority squabbled over compensation, air rights and subsidies throughout the construction process.
Innovation, Science and Technology Building
Owner: Florida Polytechnic University
Location: Lakeland, FL
Head down south and you can find this Calatrava project at Florida Polytechnic University. The building holds offices for faculty and the university president, along with classrooms and an all-digital library. The Innovation, Science and Technology Building even won the 2015 International Architectural Award, one of the most prestigious building award for innovative designs. The school building must've been a relief for the architect, going through smoothly when his other projects seemed to hit legislative hurdles at every turn.
Chicago Spire Tower
Owner: Related Midwest
Speaking of hitting hurdles, here's one Calatrava project you won't see impacting skylines any time soon. The original developer for the Chicago Spire Tower sold it off to Irish developer Garrett Kelleher, who promptly went bankrupt—but not before Donald Trump called the tower "financial suicide." Related Midwest now owns the property—which got as far as a hole in the ground—and the developer doesn't plan to continue the original project.
Margaret McDermott Bridge
Owner: Texas Department of Transportation
This tower bridge is named after the wife of the founder of Texas Instruments, Margaret McDermott, who made a personal donation to the project big enough to lock down the Spanish starchitect as a designer. When completed, the bridge's dual arches will stand 328 feet tall and stretch 1,311 feet, and will link the banks of the Trinity River for both pedestrians and cyclists.