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Calatrava (Taschen Basic Architecture Series) [Paperback]

Philip Jodidio , Peter Gossel
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

15 Aug 2007 Taschen Basic Architecture Series
Santiago Calatrava is not only one of the world's most prominent architects, but is also an engineer, sculptor, and painter. His reputation as an unparalleled architectural engineer was cemented with his numerous bridges for cities around the world. With recent projects such as the stadium for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games and the new railway station in Liege, Belgium, he has unarguably made his name in Europe and continues to look further ahead. His work is closely related to his own drawings of the human body, and to his sculptures of geometric forms, inspired by the dynamics of movement and tension. Winner of the 2005 American Institute of Architects Gold Medal and the only architect ever to have his work exhibited at both the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Calatrava is one of today's greatest and most innovative architects. This book provides an introduction to and overview of his work to date. Every book in "Taschen's Basic Architecture" series features: approximately 120 images, including photographs, sketches, drawings, and floor plans; introductory essays exploring the architect's life and work, touching on family and background as well as collaborations with other architects; the most important works presented in chronological order, with descriptions of client and/or architect wishes as well as construction problems and resolutions; and an appendix including a list of complete or selected works, biography, bibliography and a map indicating the locations of the architect's most famous buildings.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Taschen GmbH (15 Aug 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3822848735
  • ISBN-13: 978-3822848739
  • Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 0.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 270,426 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Philip Jodidio studied art history and economics at Harvard University, and was Editor-in-Chief of the leading French art journal Connaissance des Arts for over two decades. He has published numerous articles and books, including TASCHEN's Architecture Now! series, Building a New Millennium, and monographs on Salgado Calatrava, Norman Foster, Richard Meier, Alvaro Siza, Tadao Ando, and Renzo Piano.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The modernity of beauty 6 May 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Santiago Calatrava is an unusually talented architect. His architectural creations possess an awe inspiring beauty, elegance and purity.

The richly illustrated slim volume had on me an immense aesthetic and emotional impact. The spare text was insightful.

The book comprise an Introduction and the main body with the description of 19 projects illustrated with magnificent photographs but also sketches of the projects along with textual description of the underlying philosophy and guiding principles for each project.

The introduction includes information on the training of the architect comprising Art and Architecture in Spain and a Ph.D degree in civil engineering from the prestigious Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich. As the architect explains, his creations emanate from a fusion of his three capacities namely those of the artist, architect and engineer. In an interview he describes his work as an "interwinement of plastic expression and structural revelation, producing results that possibly can be best described as a synthesis of aesthetics and structural Physics."

The architect acknowledges that his taste for simplicity in engineering otiginates from his observation of the work of the Swiss engineer Robert Maillart. With simple forms Maillart showed that it is possible to create a strong content and to elicit an emotional response. But though the architect admires the work of Maillart, still he differentiates his own work and particularly bridges. Maillart's bridges, observes Calatrava, are often set in a beautiful mountain scenery. His achievement was to introduce successfully an artificial element into such magnificent locations.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A neat,glamourous and simple book 14 Feb 2010
I found this little book definitely satisfying, and its quality/price ratio excellent, as it always is for Taschen editions.
A sensible introduction gives an interesting and not boring coverage of who Calatrava is as an architect and as a man,
and what kind of curriculum lead him to what he is today.
Afer this, come a series of short ( 2-4 pages)monographic pieces on his most significant works, from the early '80s to our days.
The number and quality of photographs is also excellent and they explain along with the text what is really important in each work.
Absolutely commendable!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a perfect introduction 10 Feb 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've been intrigued by Santiago Calatrava's architecture since seeing the station at Liege Guillemins in 2009, just before it was completed. At that point, not knowing much and wanting to find out more, I found this little Taschen book the perfect introduction. There are short (2-6 pages) chapters on each building and a 15-page introduction.

As a scientist at the interface between life sciences and physical sciences, I am of course particularly attracted to Calatrava's characteristic way of taking inspiration from soft, living, moving creatures and using it for his structures, giving them a life of their own. Biology shines through everywhere in his work, and the book is good in pointing this out, using some of the architect's sketches as well. The photos are brilliant, too, though it may well be physically impossible to make a boring photo of anything designed by Calatrava.

Most importantly, the book contains a world map with the locations of his buildings at the end, very handy for planning travels to see as many of his works as possible.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Only 3 stars as these are the small versions at the £5'ish price and not the larger coffee table sized editions. I'll keep it but you can get the full sized versions for a few just a few ££'s more. Content good as ever. 5***** normally for full sized books.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Shallow, reference book 8 May 2011
By JaFo
These books in general are basic, as the series name suggests.
I found them interesting before I really started to look for precedents for design, concept, construction etc but now I honestly never touch them.
I would say they are intended really for the person who wants to drop a name or two into conversation for some reason but not for anyone with any real interest. At a stretch it could be argued the book is a good reference point for "key" buildings by the subject but realistically the shallow depth of information provided means the reader really has no idea why the buildings selected are so highly considered bar the fact they are there.
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