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The Future of Bridges | Calatrava in Venice

Courtesy of Santiago Calatrava LLC.

Photo: Courtesy of Santiago Calatrava LLC.

Santiago Calatrava has made a name for himself as the go-to guy for bridges, having completed 29 of them in 13 countries over the past two decades. This fall, Calatrava’s Quarto Ponte sul Canal Grande is finally being unveiled in Venice after nine years of delays, disputes, and drama. For this contemporary 308-foot-long pedestrian expanse, he deviated from his usual soaring displays of cable networks and pylons, opting instead for a quiet study in tempered glass, Istrian marble, and glazed bronze. The $10.4 million structure was assembled piece by piece, and parts were ferried to the site during low tide so they could pass under the three other bridges that span the Grand Canal. So what does this mean for Venice, a city steeped in history and nostalgia?Perhaps, like other locales that have turned to Calatrava to put themselves on the design map (see below), Venice may find that this new bridge serves as a welcome link to the future.

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