Santiago Calatrava, 55, was born near Valencia, Spain. He’s an artist, architect and engineer now based in Zurich, Switzerland. Calatrava won the American Institute of Architects’ Gold Medal in 2005; he designed the main sports complex for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens and the proposed World Trade Center transportation hub in Manhattan. On the drawing boards is a condominium tower in Chicago that, at 150 stories, would be the tallest building in the United States.
THE SUNDIAL BRIDGE
Cost : $23.5 million
Time to construct: Close to five years. Ground was broken in November 1999; the bridge opened July 4, 2004.
Quick facts: It is a suspension bridge, 700 feet long and 23 feet wide. The angled steel pylon at the northern end — 217 feet or about 20 stories high — supports 14 cables.
The bridge does not touch the river. Its deck, made of 2,245 panels of triple-layer glass, allows natural light to reach the water and the salmon spawning beds below. By night, the bridge is illuminated by 210 lights.
The bridge is a giant sundial, the pylon casting its shadow on a garden below. But because it is not precisely aligned with Earth’s axis, the sundial is accurate only for a few hours a year on June 21, the longest day of the year.
Info: The bridge is open from 6 a.m. to midnight daily; access is free. It’s about one mile west of Interstate 5.