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The Transformative Power of Architecture
I was introduced to Santiago Calatrava while getting my Masters of Architecture at Southern California Institute of Architecture back in the early 1990s. The now-famous Spanish architect began his career as a civil engineer before going on to a long and celebrated career as an architect. But, he remained true to his roots, always pursuing form-making as an engineer. In doing so, he has placed upon himself a limitation that yielded great opportunity (an inspiring lesson in itself). By limiting himself to the kind of simple forms that occur in nature, that have structural truth, he was able to bring about a form language that is uncannily organic, unyieldingly futuristic, and extraordinarily beautiful.
Calatrava made his early mark with a series of stunning bridges in Spain, which enabled him to express his vision through engineering-intensive structures. After hundreds of projects and dozens of international awards in the 25 years that followed, Calatrava has become known as a place-maker--an architect whose work is so inspiring, creative, and celebratory--that they have the power to heal communities, attract people from great distances and even help grow economies. It delights me that we now have Calatrava's Oculus at the World Trade Center here in our home city. Go there to dwell in its majesty and experience the transformative power of brilliant design.