At the age of 8 Santiago Calatrava was interested in art an architecture. His parents took advantage of the opportunity to send him to boarding school in France when he was 13. Calatrava intended on attending the Escuela Tenica Superior des Beaux-Arts in Paris, but plans fell through and he returned to Valencia and enrolled in the Escuela Tenica Superior de Arquitectura. He received a degree in Architecture and engrossed himself in many independent projects. With a clearly mathematical mind, Calatrava decided to attend post-graduate studies and earn a degree in civil engineering.
He has also designed the approved skyscraper, the Chicago Spire, in Chicago. Originally commissioned by Chicagoan Christopher Carley, Irish developer Garrett Kelleher purchased the building site for the project in July 2006 when Carley's financing plans fell through. Construction of the building began in August 2007 for completion in 2011. When completed, the Chicago Spire, at 2,000 feet tall, will be the tallest building in North America.