The main personality of today's show,
Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, the designer of the forthcoming TGV train station of the Satolas international airport.
A very busy man, between Zurich, where he lives, and his frequent trips to Paris, Satolas and Lyon, of course,
where the managers of this project, whose European character is apparent to all, are located.
As is customary in our show, we're going to fly over (in a literal sense) the personal and professional itinerary of Santiago Calatrava.
The future TGV train station of Satolas, whose design is very futuristic,
comes to life a bit more each day in the design office
of the [SERET] group, one of the best in French engineering.
As for Santiago Calatrava, this project represents one of his career's great achievements,
a career that's punctuated with significant creations, such as the Barcelona bridge in 1988.
A Toronto gallery, the Barcelona Olympic Games,
The Bilbao airport and the 1992 Seville world exhibit
are also significant achievements by this Catalonian architect,
a father who's lived in Zurich for several years.
Between two projects, Santiago Calatrava doesn't forget his roots nor his country.
He goes back on a regular basis and is an unconditional fan of Antonio Gaudi,
the great founder of the Sagrada Família in Barcelona.
Santiago Calatrava has collected many international awards for architecture and town planning.
More recognition is sure to come from the upcoming TGV train station in Satolas.
In the presentation of your professional itinerary,
you have confided to us, you underlined the fact that an architect, today,
is, from your point of view, a builder, above all.
Yes, that's right.
I think that architecture has a fundamental artistic approach at the beginning of its conception,
but, let's just say that I like the idea that an architect is a builder or a project manager.
So, Santiago Calatrava, how did this project for the upcoming Satolas train station come to be?
At the beginning of the planning of the train station,
there was a particular goal,
and it was to try to give the train station a very precise sculptural dimension.
So in that sense, I was inspired by a sculpture that I did approximately 5 years ago,
which is now in Venice, and which represents the take-off, the momentum that is generated by shapes,
which will remind many people what the Satolas train station will be like.
The upcoming train station, they've said and written that it's a bird, that's spreading its wings?
Yes, you can describe it like that,
meaning that we concentrated the symbolic portion of the train station towards the central building, which has a very specific shape with its large wings, you know,
which fly over the TGV as it passes through Satolas.
Do you care a lot about the artistic aspect of this project?
I care as much about the technical aspect of this project as I do the artistic aspect.
As I was saying, at the beginning of any architectural project,
there is just momentum, if you will, with a significant emotional dimension or an artistic dimension
which, afterwards, you have to transform by using techniques in a specific and precise place and within a specific deadline.
Is this project proof of the international ambition of the Rhône-Alpes region?
I see this project as a desire by the region to crystallise its ambitions of being able to accommodate many people and to become a nodal point for a very vast region.
The train station has to be ready for the 1992 Olympic Games.
So it's already a race against time?
I think that... beyond conceptual problems,
that is, that the main approach is concentrated on the respect of deadlines
and to succeed in building a train station that has the required perfection,
while at the same time, being ready on the day that it's supposed to be ready.
And will the delays be respected?
Can we confirm this today?
Are you proud of this project?
Yes, I'm proud.
And not just me but also the people that are working with me, like the [SERET].
To succeed in this project, we're giving it all that we've got and all of our energy,
so that this project is completed on time, and also for it to have the image that everyone is waiting for.
Was this job a team effort?
Fundamentally, it was a team effort, yes.
Not just that... let's even add that it was also done with a very large team, you know?
Which I'm a part of.
Aside from the other projects which you are currently working on,
I can imagine that you've allowed yourself some time to relax?
Yes, I enjoy skiing.
I like skiing very much and mountains.
Thank you Santiago Calatrava for having participated in our show
and for letting us discover the architecture of a creation that will undoubtedly generate some noise.