Calatrava Valencia

The Valencian architect and engineer, Santiago Calatrava, is quite famous in different countries all over the world. Calatrava is famous for his futuristic buildings which mainly exist of metal, concrete and glass.


Santiago Calatrava was born in 1951 in the city Valencia in the Comunidad Valenciana. Calatrava started drawing at the school of Bellas Artes when he was nine years old. On the age of thirteen he went to Paris for an exchange project and in 1968 he conceived his high school diploma. Afterwards Santiago Calatrava started studying architecture at the “Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Valencia”. When he finished studying architecture he attended a course urbanism. During this course he was pupil of the architect Juan Carlos Jiménez. Subsequently Calatrava went to Zurich to study “Ingeniería civil” (structural engineer) in 1975. In 1979 he gained his doctors degree with the title structural engineer and in the same year he got married.
Calatrava’s first famous and important project/building was the “Stadelhofen” train station nearby the centre of Zurich.


Throughout the years Santiago Calatrava has designed many buildings and other types of constructions, for example: stations, bridges, opera buildings, but also various other impressive buildings. You can find projects of Calatrava in different countries all over the world , including Spain, Switzerland, France, Argentina, the United States, Greece and various other countries. Some of his projects are for example:
– BCE Place in Toronto in the year 1987;
– Gare do Oriente (east station) in Lisbon in the year 1998;
– Auditorium in Tenerife in the year 2003;
– Train station in Liége in the year 2009;
– World Trade centre Station, still working on;

Human body

The human body is often a key element in the design of projects for Santiago Calatrava. In the constructions of Calatrava you can frequently see the relation between the building and the human body. Regularly he uses organic shapes and some parts of constructions are able to move for real.

Ciudad de las Artes y de las Ciencias

The Ciudad de las Artes y de las Ciencias (CAC), in other words the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia are also designed by Santiago Calatrava. This project consists of different elements, namely:
– Palau de les Arts;
– Hemisferic;
– Museo de las Ciencias;
– L’Umbracle;
– Agora;
– Oceanografico ( the restaurants and the entrance which are part of the Oceanografico are desgined by the architect Felix Candela)
For more information about this project, you can have a look at Ciudad de las Artes y de las Ciencias.


– Would you like to know more about Calatrava and his impressive project in Valencia, the Ciudad de las Artes y de las Ciencias (CAC)? Once Upon a Bike offers a tour around the diverse buildings of Calatrava in order to get an impression of the ideas behind this project. For more information about this tour, you can have a look at CAC tour.
– Would you like to visit the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia, in other words “the opera building”, from the inside? Please inform at Once Upon a Bike for the possibilities.

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