It’s only a guardrail. It runs up a seldom-used stairway from the first to the second floor of the new market in Testaccio. Curving and white, it drew our attention, and not only because it seemed so different from the brown, box-like building. We were looking at Santiago Calatrava, the great Spanish architect. No, he hadn’t designed this railing, or had a hand in the marketplace, for that matter.
|Calatrava's unfinished natatorium.|
|Calatrava's Bilbao bridge, 1997|
|Calatrava's Bac de Roda bridge, Barcelona, 1987|
|Calatrava's Valencia bridge, 1995|
These are ground-breaking structures, and it would seem absurd—even impossible—to connect them with the Testaccio market balustrade. Impossible, that is, if there weren’t some way to demonstrate that Calatrava’s design aesthetics were penetrating and shaping the Rome architectural scene.
|Ponte della Musica (not Calatrava)|
|Ponte Ostiense (not Calatrava)|
Neither was designed by Santiago Calatrava, but both bear his mark.
And so, too, does that guardrail.
We recommend the haiart interview with Calatrava at http://haiart.wordpress.com/2009/03/08/an-interview-with-santiago-calatrava/