Calatrava is known worldwide for his architectural designs and sculptures, which combine fluid, almost aerial forms with strongly functional structure. "Wave" reflects the creative combination of engineering and movement that is the hallmark of Calatrava's great architectural projects.
Architect, artist, and engineer Santiago Calatrava was born on July 28, 1951, in the town of Benimamet, near Valencia, Spain. Calatrava family on both sides was engaged in the agricultural export business, which gave them an international outlook that was rare during the Franco dictatorship. Calatrava attended primary and secondary school in Valencia. From the age of eight, he also attended the Arts and Crafts School, where he began his formal instruction in drawing and painting. When he was thirteen, his family took advantage of the recent opening of the borders and sent him to Paris as an exchange student. He later travelled and studied in Switzerland as well.
Upon completing high school in Valencia, he went to Paris with the intention of enrolling in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts; but, since he arrived in June 1968, he found his plan was unworkable. He returned to Valencia and enrolled in the Escuela Tecnica Superior de Arquitectura, a relatively new institution, where he earned a degree in architecture and took a post-graduate course in urbanism. While at the school, he also undertook independent projects with a group of fellow students, bringing out two books on the vernacular architecture of Valencia and Ibiza. Attracted by the mathematical rigor of certain great works of historic architecture, and feeling that his training in Valencia had given him no clear direction, Calatrava decided to pursue post-graduate studies in civil engineering and enrolled in 1975 at the ETH (Federal Institute of Technology) in Zurich. He received his Ph. D. in 1979. It was during this period...