Valencia to Napoli: Images From the Santiago Calatrava Exhibit at Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte

Images by Amede Benestante

 

 

When Santiago Calatrava’s City of Arts and Sciences was unveiled in his hometown of Valencia in 1996, he was a still fairly unknown commodity in America. Just 45 at the time – young for an architect – he had mostly built in Spain and Switzerland. But our excitement could hardly be contained, and our only thought was that we must get over there to see it…immediately.

Of course, he is now exalted the world over for not just the astonishing World Trade Center Transportation Hub (on the site of Ground Zero), but for other breathtaking feats of architecture from the Chords Bridge in Jerusalem, to the Museu do Amanhã in Rio de Janeiro, to our personal favorite, Liège-Guillemins railway station in Belgium.

 

 

Now he’s having a proper museum moment, with an exquisitely cultivated selection of his works on exhibit at the Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte in Naples. It is jointly curated by the museum’s own Sylvain Bellenger, and the architect’s wife, Robertina Calatrava.

Featured are hundreds of drawings and models, which allow for a glimpse behind the process of he who history will surely regard as one of the three or four greatest architects of his generation (the late Zaha Hadid also counted amongst them). But perhaps the most intriguing fascination is the inclusion of a great number of his sculptures, which are gathered from his various phases: geometric, mathematical, abstract, kinetic, and anthropomorphic.

The exhibition runs until May 10, so it’s the perfect excuse to plan a springtime excursion to beautiful, crazy Napoli. Make it a splurge and book a bay view suite at the glorious Grand Hotel Parker’s.

 

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