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Monday, July 28th, 2008



Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky
3 Comments » | Published in Architecture, Design Press, Urban Planning  |  3 Comments

I am a huge Santiago Calatrava fan. I read with interest about his inspiration for The Chicago Spire:

Like the seashells that Calatrava carries with him on his travels, The Chicago Spire is a breathtakingly simple expression of complex ideas. In the dynamic, soaring tower lies the fundamental repetition of nature, a sculptural triumph of mathematics and art. As a practitioner of both, Santiago Calatrava, like many inquisitors before him, has been influenced by the significant discoveries of a FLorentine mathematician some 800 years ago:

Umm really? A SEASHELL? For REALS? Maybe a faux “seashell” in a shop in P-town. How in the world did this building fly beneath my radar? I opened up the current issue of Wallpaper*, saw an ad (you too can live in a giant phallus for $800K-$40 million) and just started laughing. The Chicago Spire: Inspired by a Sea Urchin. COME ON!

The ad quotes Time Magazine as saying “Calatrava accomplishes what only great architects can: He creates transcendent spaces that uplift the human spirit.” “Uplift” – did the critic really type that without cracking up? I know I’m stating the basest potty humor kinds of comments here, but SERIOUSLY? Chicago, by far, contains the best architecture in the United States. Does it really need a sparkling, ribbed dildo towering over all of it?

By the way, this will be the tallest building int he states, and the 3rd-largest in the world. There is a very cool intro video here, though I think perhaps the music that goes with it should be changed to “It’s Raining Men” or “YMCA.”

quotes and photos from

About Becky

Hi, I'm Becky. I live in Atlanta. Besides acting as the "Editorial Director" here on Hatch, you can find me spewing lots of design opinions and tips over at Houzz. Make me happy -- leave a comment!



  1. Leslie says:

    July 28th, 2008 at 5:47 am (#)

    Ha! It is rather distinctive.

  2. Rafael Montilla says:

    July 28th, 2008 at 10:59 am (#)

    e designs with a maritime sensitivity that, at times can soothe the surrounding landscape, or crucify it. A trained architect/engineer, Calatrava consistently attempts to design the impossible, but then engages his engineering dual-persona to prove his designer limitations wrong.

  3. kitpollard says:

    July 28th, 2008 at 6:20 pm (#)

    Distinctive is right. Definitely funny!

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