Though Santiago Calatrava is certainly no stranger to less-than-favorable feedback that occasionally escalates into downright scorching criticism and even legal action, the Spanish starchitect has remained doggedly loyal to an architectural style best described as all-white, wildly over budget, and topped with dramatic, bird-like wings. Basically, no matter what the critics might call the creations—an "angry porcupine-armadillo" and "the world's most expensive hallway" both come to mind—the be-flapped style endures. So come, in honor of his 63rd birthday let us peruse 10 of his finest, most bird skeleton-esque buildings from around the world. Take a look, below:
(↑) Calatrava's World Trade Center Transportation Hub in NYC was designed to look like a 150-foot-high glass and steel "soaring eagle." As it continues to chug toward fruition, though—an official timeline says it'll be opened next year—the thing is starting to look more like what one commenter calls an "angry porcupine-armadillo." A "Porcudillo," if you will.
(↑) In the time since the Valencia Opera House in Valencia, Spain, first opened in 2005, the dramatic, curving structure has turned out to be something of a nightmare, first running three times over budget, and next deteriorating to the point where the city of Valencia had to sue. Sure is pretty, though.
(↑) The undulating roof of Ysios winery in Álava, Spain, might look lovely, but it's unfortunately proved to be rather leaky since opening in 2002. Last spring, the owner even demanded that Calatrava fork over £1.7M ($2.59M) to patch it up.
(↑) Like a seagull perched before flight, Calatrava's addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum features a pleated, convertible roof that's actually quite popular with the locals!
(↑) The Lyon Saint Exupery Airport Railway Station in Lyon, France, has a 1,300-ton roof that (no surprises here) is meant to "resemble a bird at the point of flight."
(↑) The Puente de la Mujer bridge in Buenos Aires literally flaps as it rotates 90 degrees to let water traffic through.
(↑) Located in Tenerife, Spain, the Auditorio de Tenerife was built in 2003, and looks remarkably like the starchitect's Valencia Opera House.
(↑) The Oriente Station in Lisbon, Portugal, is perhaps the most skeletal of Calatrava's work, with a delicate, roof and swooping Shuttlecock wings on either side.
(↑) The Ayre Hotel Oviedo in Oviedo, Spain branches off in a series of criss-crossing panels.
· All Santiago Calatrava coverage [Curbed National]
· Santiago Calatrava [Official site]