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Santiago Calatrava's Travels
Directed by Christoph Schaub
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Widely recognized as the greatest living designer of transportation structures like airports and train stations, award-winning, world-renowned architect Santiago Calatrava came to international prominence at an early stage in his career. His popular yet controversial creations can now be found all over the globe, and his stunning proposal recently won the commission for the new transportation hub at the rebuilt World Trade Center in New York City.

Accompanying Calatrava to various work sites we begin to understand the problems someone in his position encounters and get to know him during his hectic work schedule. In unexpected quiet moments (on an airplane, in a hotel lobby, sitting at a bar) he paints or draws, dedicating the rare moments of serenity to his work as well. Some of the films most powerful moments include his comments on the creative process and visual thought.

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A specialist at sculptural works, what distinguishes Calatrava from other celebrity architects is his talent and skill as a construction engineer. We visit construction sites, railway stations, bridges, concert halls, airports… Through the images and sounds of the documentary, space, function, form and atmosphere are conveyed. The forms are extraordinary: dynamic, frozen movements - buildings that evoke nature. In these forms SANTIAGO CALATRAVA'S TRAVELS searches for a visual framework of remembrance, opening the door to Calatrava's associations or references in architectural and art history.

The result is a tour of his oeuvre and an encounter with extraordinary shapes; dynamic equipoise, forms that hearken to waves, trees, wind, rock, wings, the natural world.

"A splendid film! Breathtaking shots of the buildings set against gloriously coloured sunsets and natural backdrops; the photography enhances the dynamic yet graceful form of Calatrava's structures... Essential viewing for all architectural and building construction students." —Leonardo: The Journal of the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology

"Even the film's more contemplative moments capture the energy that drives the man and informs his work. The travelogue format is particularly fitting since many of Calatrava's buildings are transit centers in which movement is both design metaphor and relentless day-to-day reality. The film makes accessible a timeless art in the hands of a modern master." —Educational Media Reviews Online

"An exquisite, beautifully photographed insight into the thoughts, working methods, and most important works of the well-known engineer architect. A fascinating visual delight." —Neue Zurcher Zeitung (Switzerland)


77 minutes / Color
English / English subtitles
Release: 2004
Copyright: 1999

For colleges, universities, government agencies, hospitals and corporations

This DVD is sold with a license for institutional use and Public Performance rights.

Subject areas:
Architecture, Art, Biographies, Business, Science and Technology, Urban Studies

Related Links:
Click Here for the Santiago Calatrava Website

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