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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The modernity of beauty
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...
Published on 6 May 2009 by Serghiou Const

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Be careful as these are not the large edition-excellent content
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.
Published 15 months ago by Richard Piggot


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The modernity of beauty, 6 May 2009
By 
Serghiou Const (Nicosia, Cyprus) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Calatrava (Taschen Basic Architecture Series) (Paperback)
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. Today, he observes, I believe that one of the important tasks is to reconsider the periphery of cities. Most often public works in such areas are purely functional, and yet even near railroad tracks, or spanning polluted rivers, bridges can have a remarkably positive effect. By creating an appropriate environment, they can have a symbolic impact whose ramifications go far beyond their immediate location. Calatrava's works are uplifting and even in purely fubctional projects such as a railway station or an auditorium he has the ability to add a dimension of spirituality.

Works presented include a number of bridges which constitute something of a signature design of the architect with an elegance bordering on the ethereal belying their underlying solidity; railway sations including the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, New York; Airport Communication Towers; the Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee; the Tenerife Auditorium, Santa Cruz de Tenerife; and the Olympic Sport Complex, Athens.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A neat,glamourous and simple book, 14 Feb. 2010
By 
Leonardo Scalfi (Besana in Brianza,Italy) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Calatrava (Taschen Basic Architecture Series) (Paperback)
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a perfect introduction, 10 Feb. 2011
By 
Michael Gross - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Calatrava (Taschen Basic Architecture Series) (Paperback)
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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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Be careful as these are not the large edition-excellent content, 5 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: Calatrava (Taschen Basic Architecture Series) (Paperback)
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 (Scotland, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Calatrava (Taschen Basic Architecture Series) (Paperback)
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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