Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Push for Calatrava to design I-35W bridge picks up steam
The Star Tribune reported yesterday that Peter Kitchak is continuing to push for Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava to design the new I-35W span. Governor Tim Pawlenty appears open to the idea, but his spokesman says Calatrava -- or any other designer -- needs to team up with a construction contractor and get their proposal into MnDOT by the Sept. 10 deadline. Kitchak has asked the governor to ease up on the timeline to make design a priority. Tom Fisher, University of Minnesota College of Design dean, thinks that's a good idea.

"Whatever we do there is going to get international attention," Fisher says. "If you have to hire a bridge designer anyway, why not hire a good one? ... I just think it's a no-brainer."

Calatrava isn't the only star bridge designer that should be considered, Fisher says. He points to the work of Christian Menn. Menn, who lives in Switzerland, created the design for the Bunker Hill Bridge in Boston ...

The Sunniberg bridge in the Klosters, a ski resort near Zurich ...

... and many other projects.

For more information on Calatrava, check out his firm's website. It has photos of past and current projects, which include the Chicago Spire (a 2,000-foot tower that looks like a drill pointing towards the heavens) ...

... and the WTC Transportation Hub in New York.

To learn more about Calatrava, check out this New Yorker article from 2005. Then there was this super lengthy piece, The Hole in the City's Heart, published in the New York Times on Sept. 11, 2006. Journalist Deborah Sontag chronicles the lack of progress in rebuilding Ground Zero five years after the attack on America. The 18,058-word story won a Sigma Delta Chi award from the Society for Professional Journalists.

In the story, Sontag paints vivid portraits of Calatrava and other key players: World Trade Center owner Larry A. Silverstein; architect Daniel Libeskind (designer of the Jewish Museum in Berlin); architect David Childs of Skidmore, Owens & Merrill; architect Michael Arad of the New York City Housing Authority. It's worth a read.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

oh i am so glad calatrav won't be able to get in, in time. such ugly and nonpractical empty stuff that would probably fall apart faster than the old one did