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Santiago Calatrava

Bahnhof Stadelhofen Zurich. OPUS

Volume editor Axel Menges
Illustrated by Paolo Rosselli
Translated by Michael Robinson
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Ernst Wasmuth Verlag, Turbingen, Germany
Published: 30th Sep 1993
Dimensions: h 310mm
ISBN-10: 3803027101
ISBN-13: 9783803027108
Barcode No: 9783803027108
Synopsis
It is not just by chance that Calatrava's international career is closely linked with Stadelhofen S-Bahn station. It is true that he had successfully realized remarkable buildings before 1983/84, but, as well as the impressively unified combination of structure and architectural idea, ultimately -- and the example of Stadelhofen in particular shows this -- it was the successful implementation of a concept placing a new interpretation on the city that established Calatrava's present fame.As usual Calatrava's work brought more or less zealous imitators on to the scene, but they did not succeed in moving beyond isolated imitations to anything like a comparable overall effect: an indication of the fact that construction methods and choice of materials are of small value without an urban planning concept based in time.It is the solution in terms of urban development in particular that shows Calatrava's undoubted merit and the special quality of his unreactionary and forward-thinking contribution to the Zurich cityspace. The face of the city has not only been transformed on the micro-level of detail, but also as a result of his intervention on the macro-level the zero and starting point of urban reality -- in the direction of a post-industrial and urbanized open society. This urban revolution, grasped by Calatrava with a sleep walker's certainty and implemented monumentally by means of the planning methods handed down to him, now induces perplexity in urban planners, thus tarred with Neo-Rationalism and Deconstructivism in two respects. Calatrava's Stadelhofen is the beginning of a U-topia: it is a non-place, but creates a new urban quality; it is a non-type, but creates a differentnotion of architecture and city; it stands for perception of the dissolution of a harmonious, compact city shape and for the conflict increasingly occurring in cities between reactionary citycore and avant-garde concepts of urban nebula. Bernhard Klein taught for many years History of Urbanism at the ETH in Zurich. Recently he became Professor of Architectural History at the Hochschule fur Technik Stuttgart.

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