Santiago Calatrava awarded Europe’s top architecture prize

Nick Myall
Wednesday 14 Oct 2015

Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design and the European Centre for Architecture, Art, Design and Urban Studies, award Calatrava 2015 European Prize for Architecture

The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design and the European Centre for Architecture, Art, Design and Urban Studies today announced Santiago Calatrava as the recipient of the 2015 European Prize for Architecture. The accolade is Europe’s most prestigious architecture prize, awarded annually to architects who have made substantial contributions to the field while ensuring their designs benefit humanity.

“The Spanish-born architect Calatrava is more than just an architect,” said Christian Narkiewicz-Laine, the president of the Chicago Athenaeum. “He is a visionary theorist, philosopher and utopian and a true artist in the craft of engineering and architectonic expressionism. His buildings are not just ‘buildings.’ They are powerful works of art, inspired by a master’s gifted hand and sculpted by a superior, critical eye: immensely evocative and fiercely intellectual.”

In awarding the European Prize for Architecture to Mr. Calatrava, both institutions have recognized his tremendous achievements over the course of his career, including the creation of the Stadelholfen Railway Station in Zurich, the Bac de Roda Bridge in Barcelona, the Peace Bridge in Calgary, Canada, the Milwaukee Art Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the Innovation, Science and Technology Building at Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland, Florida and the City of Arts and Sciences of Valencia, Spain.

Regarding the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, the jury stressed that Mr. Calatrava’s masterpiece speaks to his range of vision.

“Like the work of his predecessor Antonio Gaudi, the Catalan master of undulating forms, the complex is truly about architectural fantasy,” it said.

The jury also recognised the many exhibitions in world-renowned institutions that have featured Mr. Calatrava’s work, including the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

“It is significant that the European Prize for Architecture recognises Mr. Calatrava as an architect, engineer, sculptor and painter,” said Mr.Narkiewicz-Laine.

The European Prize for Architecture will honor Mr. Calatrava at a ceremony on November 17 at the World Trade Center in New York City.

A catalogue of Mr. Calatrava’s works will be published by Metropolitan Arts Press and is available through the European Center.

Previous winners of the European Prize for Architecture include Alessandro Mendini (2014), Marco Cassagrande (2013), Norwegian architecture firm TYIN tegnestue Architects (2012), German architecture firm Graft Architekten (2011) and Bjarke Ingels (2010).

Nick Myall
News Editor

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