28 March, 2008

Ponte di Calatrava

When we went to Venice as our second destination for our study travel, we thoroughly expected to see nothing new, which was a good thing, cause there wasn't anything new. The city was beautiful though, and it was really cool to see a city where the only transportation routes are walking paths (you couldn't really ride a bike through Venice...not easily at least, too many bridges with steps) and canals. However, there was one new thing in Venice. They're making a fourth bridge over the Grand Canal, which, very surprisingly, is designed by Calatrava. It seems really weird in a city where everything is so old and that's the way they like it. We tried looking it up when we got back but it seems the main thing about it is the controversy about it. Of course there's the old and modern architecture thing, but the other controversy about it is that Calatrava decided not to incorporate handicap accessible ramps because supposedly they messed with the aesthetics of his design. And he says that he'll worry about making it accessible when the time comes. Another funny thing I found was a post in a forum about it; someone said "I wonder if he'll sue the city of Venice if they try to change it to make it handicap accessible," in reference to the thing with the bridge in Bilbao.

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