Architect Santiago Calatrava to Be Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award

Santiago Calatrava Receives Leonardo da Vinci Lifetime Achievement Award for Design at the Florence Biennale

Left: Santiago Calatrava (Photo: © Thomas Hoeffgen via Florence Biennale) | Right: Detail of the Lyon Saint Exupery airport railway station (Photo: _luSh_/Depositphotos)

Esteemed architect Santiago Calatrava is being honored by the Florence Biennale of Art and Design for his contributions to the world of design. In October, the Spanish architect will receive the Leonardo da Vinci Lifetime Achievement for being “one of the most influential architects of our time.”

The organization further acknowledges that the award is also a recognition of his “audacious experimentation” and his ability to combine art and architecture. Calatrava, who is also a sculptor, sees a deep connection between this art form and his architecture. Today, his work can be seen across Europe and the Americas.

Calatrava's approach to design =is distinct, with his use of patterns and intricate forms making his architecture instantly recognizable. To honor his long, celebrated career, the Florence Biennale will also dedicate an entire pavilion to his work. Calatrava is also expected to take the stage at the October 19 awards ceremony and will give a speech during the event.

“One of the most influential architects of the last fifty years, Calatrava is a leading figure in an architecture that is respectful of the forces that run through the constructions, sometimes conceived with challenging formal solutions,” shared the Biennale in a statement about the award. “The Spanish architect has realized bridges, infrastructures, congress, and exhibition centers during a career studded with great successes, not only as an architect but also as an artist capable of expressing himself through different artistic disciplines, including drawing and sculpture.”

At 71, Calatrava shows no signs of slowing down. He's currently in the middle of construction for what will be Dubai's tallest structure, Dubai Creek Tower.

Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava is being honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Florence Biennale of Art and Design.

City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia, Spain

City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia, Spain (Photo:

World Trade Center Transportation Hub

World Trade Center Transportation Hub, Manhattan, New York (Photo:

Margaret Hunt Hill bridge by night.

Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, Dallas, Texas (Photo: f11photo/Depositphotos)

Ysios Winery by Santiago Calatrava

Ysios Winery, Laguardia, Basque Country, Spain (Photo: herraez/Depositphotos)

Tomorrow's Museum, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Tomorrow's Museum, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Photo: xura/Depositphotos)

He is being recognized for his “audacious experimentation,” which has made him one of the most influential architects of the past 50 years.

Tenerife Auditorium by Santiago Calatrava

Tenerife Auditorium, Tenerife de Santa Cruz, Canary Islands, Spain (Photo: peterfuchs/Depositphotos)

Mediopadana Railway Station

Mediopadana Railway Station, Reggio Emilia, Italy (Photo: sedmak/Depositphotos)

Milwaukee Art Museum

Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Photo: Checubus/Depositphotos)

Gare do Oriente, Lisbon, Portugal

Gare do Oriente, Lisbon, Portugal (Photo: bondvit/Depositphotos)

Florence Biennale: Website | Facebook | Instagram
h/t: [ArchDaily]

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Staff Editor and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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