Dr. Santiago Calatrava

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The Samuel Beckett Bridge was designed by one of the world’s great architects and engineers, Dr. Santiago Calatrava. Classed as one of the elite designers of the world, he has offices in Zurich, New York and Valencia.


  • 1951 – born 28th July in Benimamet, Valencia, Spain
  • 1969 – enrols in Escuela Tecnica Superior de Arquitectura where he gains a degree in architecture and takes a post-graduate course in urbanism
  • 1975 – pursues post-graduate studies in engineering at the ETH (Federal Institute of Technology) in Zurich
  • 1981 - receives Ph.D. from ETH
  • 1983 – wins first competition proposal with a design for the Stadelhofen Railway Station in Zurich
  • 1984 – designs and builds the Bach de Roda Bridge in Barcelona. This establishes his international reputation. Several significant bridge designs follow, including the Alamillo Bridge and Caruja Viaduct for the World’s Fair in Seville (1987-1992), the Campo Volantin Footbridge in Bilbao (1990-1997) and the Alameda Bridge and Metro Station in Valencia (1991-1995)
  • 1991 – opens office in Valencia to facilitate work on the world-renowned City of Arts and Sciences
  • 2003 – James Joyce Bridge in Dublin opened to traffic.
  • 2004 – opens office in New York to facilitate commissions including the World Trade Centre Transportation Hub in New York, the Chicago Spire and three bridges over the Trinity River in Dallas
  • 2008 – completes Jerusalem Bridge (Israel), Venice Bridge (Italy) and the Assut d’Or Bridge in Valencia
  • 2009 – arrival of Samuel Beckett Bridge in Dublin


Dr. Calatrava has received numerous awards from the very beginning of his career. These include the August Perret Prize from the Union Internationale d’Arcitectes in 1987; the Gold Medal of the Institute of Structural Engineers, London in 1987; Crue de Saint Jordi from the Generalitat de Catalunya, 1994; Officer de l’Odre des Arts et Lettres from the Republic of France, 1998; Medalla de Oro of the Circulo de Bellas Artes, Valencia, 2002; Gold Plate Award from the Academy of Achievement, Chicago, 2004; AIA Gold Medal from the American Institute of Architects, 2005; Premio Nacional de Arquitectura from the Spanish Government, 2005; Golden Belgian Building Award, 2009.

Dr. Calatrava has received 16 honorary doctorates to date. Professional societies and publications have honoured him throughout his career. His extension to the Milwaukee Art Museum was in Time’s ‘Best of 2001’. Calatrava projects have received five ECCS European Steel Design Awards to date from the European Convention for Constructural Steel. The Liege Guillemins High Speed Railway Station won the ESCN European Award for Excellence in Concrete in 2006.


Dr. Calatrava’s work was first exhibited at a Zurich art gallery in 1985. There have been many major exhibitions since. These include ‘Santiago Calatrava: Artist, Architect, Engineer’ at the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, (2000-2001). Similar exhibitions were mounted at the National Gallery, London, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, and the Meadows Museum, Dallas. Solo exhibitions of his work were held in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the Reina Sofia, Madrid, in 2005