February 11, 2009 6:01 PM
A New Look For Ground Zero
"I think on the body — why we stand up — the movement, you know. The relations of the arms and the activities — the gestures, the movement," he said.
Calatrava often translates his ideas not only into sketches, but also into pieces of sculpture. He was recently the first living architect in almost 25 years to be honored with an exhibit at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art.
He's says it's very important to make his buildings "not boring."
"Because making a building boring is an insult to the people," he said.
Calatrava's "not-boring" buildings have emerged from a solid foundation. He has advanced degrees in architecture and engineering. He grew up loving both art and science as the product of an old Spanish family.
Calatrava met his wife Robertina in graduate school and she not only manages the family, including their four children, she runs the business as well — and there is a lot to do as Calatrava is very much in demand.
The Milwaukee Art Museum is now often called simply "The Calatrava." The museum opened in 2001, and Calatrava's addition was designed as a reception hall, but the most extraordinary feature is the wings which can open and close. The new structure has sent the museums attendance rate soaring.
"This is unusual, in that it's a great piece of architecture and it appeals to the man in the street and the woman in the street," Director of the Milwaukee Art Museum David Gordon said.
In New York, the new World Trade Center hub is due to open in 2009 and is also expected to be a crowd pleaser. It will feature a roof that can open to let light filter through. Calatrava says that if you look closely you will see that the new building is meant to symbolize a child's hand holding a dove of peace ready to spread its wings.
"You know the beauty of the station is also a promise that people will go there," he said. "That whole area will be alive, and will complete the life it used to have once, you see. And this is what we want."
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