Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Felix Candela dies

  • Comment

Felix Candela, exponent of thin-shell concrete structures, has died aged 86. Admired equally by architects and engineers, he was an honorary fellow of the riba, and an Institution of Structural Engineers gold medallist. Born in Madrid, Candela emigrated to Mexico in 1939, and eventually moved to the us in 1971.

He built his first shell structure in 1949, using formwork constructed from straight timbers. Subsequently his use of hyperbolic paraboloids was to produce spectacular structures.

Following the success of the Cosmic Ray Pavilion for Mexico University in the early 1950s, Candela became popular world-wide, and provided a striking concrete structure for John Lewis in Stevenage, his only work in the uk (now demolished). The range of building types was prodigious, from factories to churches, houses to nightclubs, whole villages to transmission masts, and including shell forms which were pure sculpture.

John Winter described Candela as, like Prouve in France and Nervi in Italy, 'both builder and designer, sharing with them the advantages and disadvantages of the situation. The advantages are a close relationship between design and construction and an interest in the formal possibilities of building very cheaply. The chief disadvantage is that the work is often carried out for indifferent architects.'

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.