After years of delay and after doubling the original budget, Calatrava's World Trade Center Hub has finally opened. And with it, thousands of critics and supporters to his sculptural building have raised discussion about the suitability and consistency of his building. Some describe the building as a "symbol of excess" and others such as Justin Davidson "an extravagantly idealistic creation unlike any in New York".
Calatrava can be criticized from many perspectives such as over budgeting, prioritizing the shape over the human use and functionality and the emergence of construction problems soon after the building is finished. However, there is something that cannot be denied about his approach: his ability to build a strong brand around his architecture, which has enabled him to reach and resonate with a mayor part of society. What makes his architecture so likable among the great public? Why, in spite of the constant critics, he keeps getting commissions around the world?
The “brand” Calatrava has been extremely consistent through the years, creating an easily recognizable style. From the point of view of his communication, he supports all of his projects by metaphors on nature, explains the idea by progressive sketches and compares his sculptures with the final building. This process might oversimplify the message and architecture, but provides key visual tools to teach the audience how to look and understand his buildings.