Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Santiago Calatrava Essay

1. Describe the work. In your own words, tell what you see.
    The Santiago Calatrava train station represents a stunning, low-lying bird architectural tunnel; lit in golden yellow colors and white light. The structure represents order and tranquility expected to add value to the rail station scenery. 

A. What is the primary subject matter?
    The rail station subject matter is incorporating a sculpture structure into a functional structure based on a motion by a bird on flight. The primary subject matter of the design enhances the architectural design to function as a railway station.

B. Are the images real or imagined?
    The images are real, the environment is represented, the parking lot is real and functioning and the tunnel railway itself is facilitated as a real image by the presence of the aforementioned features. Use of natural light and shadows creates a sense of reality. Movements of lines create motion and depth that add value to the image realness.

C. What is the form (how is the work put together, what is the medium?)
    Santiago Calatrava used glass and steel frames as medium of expressing his artistic and architectural genius. The work is put together using concrete pillars that support the steel arching structure that make out a bird’s wings that assemble into a beak at the extreme western side.

D. What style is it?
    The style is a naturalistic style, in which steel framework act like a bone structure joined support the glass which fills that space. The naturalistic style is predominant since the roof looks like sky and the walls take a white color.

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2. Analyze the formal aspects of the work.
    From the western side a bird in flight is pronounced creating an illusion of a structure on motion. At first stance, the two sitting steel arches create a striking illusion of reality that tower up high for about 40 meters. Use of line is very particular in strengthening the structure, diagonal lines arching inward into the structure from the roof stand strong pillars that hold up the roof.

 A. Does the work seem unified or chaotic?
    The shape of the structure unifies the work, which is like a human eye from the front and a bird on flight from east and west direction.

B. Does the work feel balanced?
    The work is balanced through use of line and shape. Lines converge at the western end of the structure and the wings rise at both sides leaving a ridge in between to separate the winged outer convex structure. The ridge balances the work; the wings balance each other by the lift acquired on both sides, which represent a fraction that is a quarter to the length of the structure.

C. What is the general mood of the work (pleasant, disturbing, exciting...?)
    The structure creates a general pleasant mood brought about by presence of blue colors at the ridge and arch and a white color at the sides and walls of the hemispherical train station.

3. Interpret the work.
 A. What is the artist saying about his/her subject?
    The artist infused flight into the structure to represent the busy travelers expected to use the Port authority Trans Hudson train station to either catch a train or take a flight.

 B. Is the work pleasant or uncomfortable to look at?
    The work is inspiring to look at and adds value to the topography of the train station as an architectural masterpiece that infuses art, creativity and engineering.

C. Consider the colors used. How do they affect you?
    The artist used blue colors on the ridges’ roof glass to represent the sky. The diagonal glass fillers are transparent to allow direct flow of natural light. The concrete pillars and steel support structures are displayed in excellent white color that creates peace and tranquility.  The steel pillars are painted white to blend with the sky and clouds.

D. Consider any symbols used. Do any images seem “out of place”?
    The most striking symbol is a bird on flight, which correlated with the function of the station’s airport and train facilities. The second symbol is the human eye, through the eye of the station, people travel afar.

E.   Is the work influenced by a particular time, place, or belief?
    The work is highly influenced by the naturalistic belief that architectural structures ought o add value to the environment by either blending in or by standing out as a center of aesthetic value. The Port authority trans Hudson train station stands out as an aesthetic structure of the 21st century away from the old blocks of structures. Use of steel and glass to facilitate use of natural light is a new notion towards curbing global warming by utilizing renewable energy like natural light.  
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