It has proven transformational for the local building design landscape. It’s also a defining work of its world-renowned Spanish architect. And in the 21 years since its completion, the Quadracci Pavilion at the Milwaukee Art Museum – so synonymous with the man who designed it that most locals to this day simply refer to it as “the Calatrava” – has, arguably, become the physical symbol of Milwaukee.

In an exclusive interview with Milwaukee Magazine, Santiago Calatrava, 70, reflected on his time in Milwaukee working on the project and how it has been a turning point in his illustrious career.