Santiago Calatrava was born on July 28th 1951 in the town of Benimamet near Valencia, Spain. Calatrava is a name passed down from a medieval order of knights; and Benimamet is a town mainly populated by Jewish converts to Catholicism. The family on both sides was engaged in the agricultural export business, which gave them an international outlook that was rare during the Franco dictatorship. Calatrava attended secondary school located in Valencia. At the age of eight he attended the Arts and Crafts school where he began to express his drawing and painting skills. Calatrava decided to pursue postgraduate studies in civil engineering and enrolled in 1975 at the ETH (Federal Institute of Technology) in Zurich, Switzerland. He received his Ph.D. there in 1979. It was during this period that he met and married his wife, who was a law student in Zurich. Calatrava finished studying in 1981 and then went on to open his own architectural and engineering practice. He now has offices based in Zurich (principle office), Paris, New York and Valencia. He is now renowned for his expertise as an artist, engineer, sculptor and more well known as a creative, challenging, none restricted and award winning architect. He has won the following awards to prove his excellence in architecture:
* 1979 - August Perret Award.
* 1992 - London Institution of Structural Engineers Gold Medal. * 1993 - Toronto Municipality Urban Design Award.
* 1996 - Gold Medal for Excellence in the Fine Arts from the Granada Ministry of Culture * 1999 - Prince of Asturias Award in Arts.
* 2000 - Algur H. Meadows Award for Excellence in the Arts from the Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University. * 2006 - Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts from the Council for the Arts at MIT, (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). * 2006 - Honorary Engineering Degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. * 2005 - AIA Gold Medal.
* Designation as a Global Leader...