All posts tagged: Santiago Calatrava

Bilbao: The Cliff Notes Edition

  Wow! I had read the stories of how a gritty, shipbuilding city in Spain had reinvented itself as an arts and cultural center built around the signature Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum. I had seen the pictures. But I wasn’t ready for the reality. We spent Sunday in Bilbao, Spain — after a drive through the lovely heart of the Basque country — and Candice and I found the first city where we are set on finding a way to return as soon as possible. Bilbao in the 1980s saw the closing of an iconic shipyard and had the foresight to think creatively and boldly about a new future which blended new and old. It is the last part — the blending of new and old — that is often missed in the write-ups about Bilbao’s renaissance.  You get the impact of Gehry’s Guggenheim, along with the works of Calatrava, Norman Foster and other modern masters. But what is often missing is the context for these works: a walkable and vibrant historic city dating back …

Adding Another Calatrava to the Collection

I was heading out of Dallas to Ft. Worth this morning, when I caught a glimpse of a signature white bridge crossing the Trinity River.  Could it be a Calatrava? No sooner had the thought crossed my mind, when a friend across the aisle said, “That’s the new Calatrava bridge which just opened here.  Yes! I knew then what my late afternoon schedule would include: a trip to photograph yet another Santiago Calatrava creation for my small but growing collection. I began photographing Calatrava bridges while on a 2009 trip to Dublin, Ireland, where two of his signature bridges cross the River Liffey.  My son Andrew is a big Calatrava fan and had alerted me to the existence of the bridges in Dublin. A couple of weeks later I was in Milwaukee, and was fortunate to be able to photograph the “flapping” of the wings of the Calatrava-designed Milwaukee Museum of Art.  That blog  has been one of the most popular I’ve ever posted, as web surfers have found the images online. So on a …

Calatrava’s Samuel Beckett Bridge Opens for Traffic

Santiago Calatrava’s beautiful Samuel Beckett Bridge in Dublin opened for traffic this morning following an official ceremony marking the event yesterday. This is a work of art that I was privileged to see in September while it was still under construction. To view Calatrava’s work in the context of the other historic and contemporary Dublin bridges along the River Liffey, check out my September post entitled Santiago Calatrava’s Dublin Bridges (And More) By Dawn’s Early Light. More to come… DJB

Moved by Santiago Calatrava’s Milwaukee Art Museum

Oh my…what a building, what a sculpture, what a space, what an experience!  The power of place indeed. Just two weeks after seeing his bridges in Dublin, I had the opportunity to visit the Santiago Calatrava-designed Milwaukee Museum of Art today.  I had seen the building on a drive-by a few years ago, but this was my first time to see it both inside and out.  The internet is awash with both images and verbiage about this wonderful space.  I’ll only quote the dean of the school of architecture at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (and a member, along with our host, of the selection committee for the building) who told our tour group today, “We got Calatrava when he was unknown and yet at the peak of his creative powers – sort of like the early Beatles, before they became superstars and started adding too many orchestrations.“ What you’ll see below is a series of photos showing the “flapping” of the beautiful white wings (really a sunscreen)  from open to close.  Extraordinary as that sounds, …

Santiago Calatrava’s Dublin Bridges (And More) By Dawn’s Early Light

I am blessed with two talented children who teach me so much every day.  Claire has an imaginative and artistic eye that she uses to great effect in her photography of buildings and landscapes.  Andrew has been fascinated by architecture since he was a toddler and stood in our hall to carefully run his hand over the curved beaded siding on our wall.  As a preservationist and father, I love talking with them about their passions. So when Andrew texted me on Friday morning to say, “Dad, there are two Santiago Calatrava-designed bridges in Dublin,” I knew they must be special.  I wanted to see them not only based on Andrew’s message, but because I had seen the Spanish-born Calatrava’s Milwaukee Art Museum (a building I’ll be in again in a few weeks) and was intrigued as to  how he handled his designs in this city of bridges. To make a long story short, I left in dawn’s early light this morning and went on a 1 1/2 hour walk, beginning at Calatrava’s James Joyce …