Calatrava's Liège-Guillemins station

Liège - a city I'd be happy to visit even if I didn't leave the train station... Built by Santiago Calatrava and opened four years ago, it is an awe-inspiring and uplifting structure. No wonder then that so many articles about it talk of cathedrals... 

"Sistine Chapels are built, and while I don't gander to compare anyone to Michelangelo, I’m willing to bet you will feel the same awesome presence that chapel takes on when walking into Santiago Calatrava's structures. You feel a rush, the adrenaline pulses through you as though your feet are no longer anchored to the ground, that you are elevated up amongst the arcs and then the complicated transverse geometries all of a sudden seem soft like clouds." Carly Erin O'Neil

"To stand under that great white steel shell is to feel the architecture soaring with all the majesty and daring of a gothic cathedral, bound up with notions of speed, of hurtling towards the future."  Jonathan Glancey


Silly question

Santiago Calatrava’s City of Arts and Sciences is a monumental achievement. I’ve no idea - and can’t easily discover - how much the complex cost to build but it must have been several hundred million Euros.

As for the maintenance costs, well, the little red tape you can see in this picture cordons off an area where a man, aboard a hydraulic lift, is cleaning the outside of the Science Centre (El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe). Such was the scale of his task that, during the three days I was there, he only managed to progress about 20 metres.

Silly question

Silly question

Calatrava’s masterpiece has rapidly become a source of pride for Valencians and a symbol of their city’s determination to be a pioneering knowledge-based economy. Sure, it has its detractors (tell me a piece of architecture that doesn’t) but it now attracts artists and visitors from all around the world.

And so the silly question: why won’t we make this sort of investment in the UK?