Will Anyone Hire Santiago Calatrava After this Exposé?

While many of Santiago Calatrava's anatomically-inspired designs are lauded, in Valencia - the architect's birthplace and the city where he's built the most - Calatrava is reviled for cost overruns, exorbitant fees, and inexplicable design errors.
Andrey Belenko / flickr

"Along with Frank Gehry, Richard Meier, Renzo Piano and Norman Foster, Mr. Calatrava swept to prominence in an era of showstopping architecture," writes Suzanne Daley. "Across the globe, he has designed dozens of structures, almost invariably white, including the Liège-Guillemins railway station in Belgium; the Turning Torso skyscraper in Malmo, Sweden; and the Milwaukee Art Museum, with its mechanical roof."

"But in numerous interviews, other architects, academics and builders say that Mr. Calatrava is amassing an unusually long list of projects marred by cost overruns, delays and litigation. It is hard to find a Calatrava project that has not been significantly over budget. And complaints abound that he is indifferent to the needs of his clients."

“What you see over and over again is that rather than searching for functionality or customer satisfaction, he aims for singularity,” said Jesús Cañada Merino, the president of Bilbao’s architects’ association. “The problem is that Calatrava is above and beyond the client.”

Full Story: A Star Architect Leaves Some Clients Fuming


Brand new! Urban Grid City Collection

Each city has its own unique story. Commemorate where you came from or where you want to go.
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

The Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs is the only comprehensive ranking and listing of graduate urban planning programs available.
Starting at $24.95
Women's t-shirt with map of Los Angeles

City T-Shirts for the ladies!

Women's Supersoft CityFabric© Fashion Fit Tees. Now available in six different cities.
Book cover of Insider's Guide to Careers in Urban Planning

So you want to be a planner...

Check out our behind the scenes look at 25 careers in the Urban Planning field
Starting at $14.95