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2012 Archives

Pillars behind Hill bridge stretch from Texas to Europe


The following story ran in the February 24, 2012, edition of the Dallas Morning News.

March 8, 2012

At the foot of its soaring, signature arch, the bridge does what it’s meant to: It connects. Others hope it will also invigorate and inspire.

A gargantuan project years in the making, the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge is the fruit of a village spanning from Texas to Europe, from a Spanish architect and an Italian steel fabricator to a Dallas philanthropist and a Houston truck driver.

Artists and visionaries, craftsmen and connectors, leaders and foot soldiers. Here are some of their stories....

Santiago Calatrava, the designer of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, is one of the highest-profile figures on the international contemporary design scene — an architect, engineer and sculptor.

Born in 1951 in Benimàmet, in what is now part of Valencia, Spain, he received an undergraduate degree in architecture from the Superior Technical School of Architecture in Valencia, where he also did further study in urbanism.

He completed a doctorate in civil engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich in 1981. His architecture and engineering firm, founded in Zurich, also has offices in Paris and Valencia.

Calatrava soon became known for spare, graceful suspension bridges and buildings suggesting elaborate animal skeletons.

His first U.S. project, completed in 2001, was the critically acclaimed Quadracci Pavilion of the Milwaukee Art Museum. He was also tapped to design the World Trade Center  Transportation Hub in New York.

One of his sculptures, Wave , a row of undulating slabs, is installed in front of the Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University.

Scott Cantrell