Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava is known for the unusual shapes of his buildings reflecting principles of nature. Some of his sculptures, drawings, paintings, ceramics and project descriptions are being shown in an exhibition at the Marlborough Gallery in N.Y.C. until May 31, 2014.
Critics say that Calatrava „redefines the boundaries that have historically separated fine arts from architecture and engineering“, according to a press release by the gallery. „His work often begins in loosely drawn sketches that become more formally styled in his sculpture, and finally in his architectural projects.“
Calatrava himself is quoted: „The sketch is the instrument that helps me materialize the ideas at another level. And the most abstract way to do studies of morphology probably is sculpture. One draws the human body to understand the movement, the gesture. The place, the landscape, the human landscape, and topography are important for me. These will inspire or bring the essence [to a project]. Then, also the analysis of the functional program is important. You can channel all the impulses of free thinking, free feeling, shape, form, the natural [flow], and this goes from the sketches and the human body into the sculptures.”
Indeed, Calatrava’s first skyscraper, the Turning Torso in Malmö, Sweden, is based on the contortions of the human spine. In Spain, Calatrava designed a planetarium in the shape of an eye. The Milwaukee Art Museum forms an open wingspan. As Calatrava states, „… it’s true that there’s something essential in the construction of our body … [even] in my hands, there is a little bit of architecture and engineering. What architecture does is what a coat does for our body. It wraps us.”
One of his latest works is a futuristic train station at the rebuild World Trade Center in N.Y.C. to open in 2015.