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Swiss Architects
  · Le Corbusier
  · Herzog & De Meuron
  · Mario Botta
  · Peter Zumthor

Architecture
  · Santiago Calatrava

Santiago Calatrava, Architect

and his Footprints in Switzerland

Santiago Calatrava Valls was born in 1951 in Benimamet near Valencia [Valence], Spain. He started his studies in 1968 at the school of arts in Valencia. From 1969 to 1974, Calatrava studied architecture and urbanistics at the Escuela TÚcnica Superior de Arquitectur de Valencia, then civil engineering at Switzerland's Federal Institute of Technology [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, ETH] in Zurich, finishing with a doctorate in technical sciences in 1981. Santiago Calatrava realized a number of projects in Switzerland and though he has been working all around the globe in recent years, he still lives in Zurich and has offices there (as well as in Paris and Valencia).

Calatrava combines a strong sense for art and beauty - he also works as a sculptor and a painter - with a profound knowledge of engineering allowing him to construct metallic structures that seem to defy the laws of gravity. His major works of architecture include bridges and train stations.

Some of Santiago Calatrava's Buildings in Switzerland

  • 1984 - 1988 High School, Wohlen, canton Aargau [AG]
  • 1984 - 1990 S-Bahn train station Zurich-Stadelhofen, enlargement/rebuilding
  • 1984 - 1989 Lucerne main station, façade design and entrance hall
  •       1985      Canopy to Swiss Post's mail distribution center in Lucerne
  • 1986 - 1988 Comedy theatre Tabourettli, Basel, modification
  • 1987 - 1996 Buchen residential complex, Würenlingen [AG]
  •       1989      Temporary pavilion dedicated to concrete at Swissbau civil engineering fair, Basel
  •       1999      St. Gallen: Klosterhof entrances to Pfalzkeller and cantonal emergency call center



Wohlen: Cantonal High School


Wohlen, Kantonsschule (cantonal high school) by Santiago Calatrava
How to find: Allmendstrasse (GPS coordinates: latitude=47.3556 longitude=8.2706
15 minutes to walk from Wohlen train station)



Lucerne: Canopy to Swiss Post's Mail Distribution Center

Lucerne: mail distribution center
Lucerne: mail distribution center
(Ammann & Baumann architects)
with canopy designed by Santiago Calatrava
Lucerne Post center, Canopy by Santiago Calatrava
Canopy designed by Santiago Calatrava, detail

Calatrava's canopy is a modest, but elegant add-on to an otherwise not very inspiring building by Ammann & Baumann. The canopy stands out 11 m from the front and allows natural light to reach the loading bay.



Lucerne: main station, entrance hall by Santiago Calatrava

How to visit

Swiss Post's mail distribution center is situated next to Lucerne's central train station and to the Culture and Congress Center KKL (by French architect Jean Nouvel). The entrance hall and façade of the central train station have been designed by Santiago Calatrava as well.

On arrival at the central station leave the hall in same direction as the train came in and you'll find the KKL to the right side of the train station. Walk along the train station's front towards the KKL and then turn right once again to see the postal center.



St. Gallen: Tram Stop and Entrance to Pfalzkeller


St. Gallen: tramway stop Marktplatz-Bohl by Santiago Calatrava
(GPS coordinates: latitude=47.426302 longitude=9.376595)

St. Gallen: entrance to Pfalzkeller by Santiago Calatrava
St. Gallen: entrance to Pfalzkeller (monastery district)
This unobtrusive cover transforms into a veritable Calatrava structure when opened
How to find: Klosterhof
(GPS coordinates: latitude=47.423885 longitude=9.379009)
St. Gallen: entrance to cantonal emergency call center by Santiago Calatrava
Entrance to cantonal emergency call center
designed by Santiago Calatrava
How to find: Moosbruggstrasse, next to Karlstor
(GPS coordinates: latitude=47.423841 longitude=9.379320)


Major Calatrava Constructions outside Switzerland

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Switzerland from A to Z
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