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14 Dec 2007
IOC News , museum-news-articles

Meeting Santiago Calatrava

There were more than 300 people at the Olympic Museum yesterday to meet and listen to Santiago Calatrava, the architectural genius whose acclaimed works can be found throughout the world. Attending this exciting event were Jacques Rogge and Juan Antonio Samaranch, IOC President and Honorary President respectively, several IOC members and, as well as the regulars, many students passionate about architecture.
Autographs and preview
The evening started with an autograph session, in which Santiago Calatrava signed the book by Greek author Alexander Tzonis, Calatrava: The Athens Olympics. During the conference, Caltrava often referred to the link between architecture and the human silhouette. He spoke of enthusiasm, a Greek word that means “inspired by the gods”, and technical aspects linked to Greek: techni=art, techniki= technique. The speech was illustrated by photos, models, computer-generated imagery and films. During his speech at the end of the event, Jacques Rogge mentioned the moment of intense emotion he experienced on 11 May 2004 when the two sections of the Athens stadium roof were assembled. Then, the official preview of the Santiago Calatrava: Architecture and Olympism exhibition took place. This exhibition will remain at the Musuem until 6 January 2008.
Calatrava, creator of Olympic venues
Santiago Calatrava has contributed greatly to the success of the Olympic Games, creating the communcations tower for the Barcelona Games, the futuristic
vault of the Olympic stadium and the dazzling velodrome roof in Athens, not forgetting the Alamillo viaduct for the Universal Exhibition in Seville, the Saint-Exupéry TGV station in Lyons and the famous Milwaukee Art Museum extention in the USA.
The path of a gifted architect
An achitect, engineer and artist, this 56-year-old Spaniard with an aristocratic name, decended from an order of Medieval knights, studied in Spain, Paris and Switzerland. In Valencia, he obtained his architecture diploma at the Escuela Tecnica Superio de Arquitectura. He then left for Paris, with the intention of studying at the School of Fine Art, but had to abandon this project. Finally, it was in Zurich that he obtained his engineering diploma, settling there after getting married. He has two other offices, in Paris and Valencia.
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