23 abril 2007

Chicago's Spire and change fear

Santiago Calatrava is one of my favourite
contemporary architects. It is not because he is Spanish, it is just because he is special. He is an architect and an engineer, what indeed influences his way of designing bridges, public spaces, and buildings. I got trapped into Calatrava's work after seeing a documentary in Spanish TV station "La2" many many years ago (I was a kid and he was beginning to be popular).
That documentary was indeed carried out by himself, who kindly explained his projects and how he came up with them. However, what made me realise this person is a genius was his proposed project of the refurbishment of St. John's the Divine Cathedral in NYC.

Now Santiago Calatrava is pushing his project "Spire Tower" in Chicago. It would be located just few minutes far away from where I used to live in Chicago. The Spire tower would be the tallest building in North America and of course... there are people who oppose it because they say it breaks Chicago's skyline.

Many great buildings were severely opposed at the time they were proposed: Eiffel tower, Liberty statue, the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao, etc. The general explanation for this sort of opposition is that people are "averse to change".

My explanation is more specific: there are people whose lives are so boring and even insignificant that the only way they find to feel important is opposing a great project such as
this one. It is their strange way of feeling loved. My personal experience is that smart, happy, self-realised people almost always support challenges such as Calatrava's building in Chicago, because it rocks and pushes ahead a world-class city like Chicago.

Calatrava's official webpage: http://www.calatrava.com

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