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Calatrava Bridges (Architecture/Design Series) Paperback – 17 Oct 2005


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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Thames and Hudson Ltd (17 Oct. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500285799
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500285794
  • Product Dimensions: 16.6 x 2.8 x 20.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,145,682 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Alexander Tzonis is professor of architectural theory at the Technical University of Delft. He is the author of Santiago Calatrava: The Poetics of Movement and Le Cotbusler: The Poetics of Machine and Metaphor, both published by Thames & Hudson. Rebeca Caso Donadei conducts research in the Design Knowledge Systems Centre in the Department of Architecture at the University of Delft.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 2 Jan. 2007
Format: Paperback
Calatrava is perhaps the best-known structural engineer in the world, and it's as much for his bridges as any of his other work. This can only be a good thing for a public who would otherwise think that bridge engineers stopped at Brunel (or Eiffel, or Roebling, depending on your country of origin).

Despite his work's public popularity, Calatrava is frequently criticised within the engineering community. Matthew Wells in "30 Bridges" describes how many of Calatrava's bridges are "rather like a cake on a cake-stand", with some of them "overblown". What engineers so dislike is that Calatrava abandons the discipline of economy in favour of the irrational and the exuberant - bridges which succeed primarily as sculptures rather than as rational structures.

Alexander Tzonis has written extensively on Calatrava but unfortunately lacks a critical eye. The dozens of bridges included in this book are all described positively, although some are downright ugly (e.g. the fortunately unbuilt Serreria Bridge) and others interesting but seriously flawed (e.g. California's Sundial Bridge). His text is often unclear, frequently failing to distinguish between bridges that were built and others that never got beyond the model-making stage, and it's often obvious that English is his second language.

That said, I still found the book consistently fascinating, and it's well-illustrated. The initial chapter on his Alpine bridge designs (all very different from the high-tech steelwork of his better-known work) is very welcome, and there are plenty of structures which I hadn't previously encountered. As a bridge designer, there are several ideas to follow up, and it's unsurprising that Calatrava has inspired many imitators.

In summary, Calatrava fans will love this book. Others with a keen interest in bridge design will also find plenty to admire (or react against), but may wish it was somewhat less of a hagiography.
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By R.I.M.BERRY on 4 Feb. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Calatrava has to be one of those most amazing architects working in the world today, his bridges and buildings are sensual, emotional, magical, exquisite, beautiful, this book has a collection of superb photographs and is a small snapshot of Calatrava's Brilliance
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