Félix Candela's Concrete Shells: An Engineered Architecture for Mexico and Chicago

Félix Candela, Capilla de Palmira Lomas de Cuernavaca, Morelos, México, 1958 – 1959
04/02/2018
Félix Candela's Concrete Shells: An Engineered Architecture for Mexico and Chicago
[Chicago, Illinois] USA 19.01.2018 > 03.03.2018
metalocus, PABLO CUESTA
Felix Candela, Chapel Palmira, Lomas de Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico, 1958-1959
Curated by Alexander Eisenschmidt, Félix Candela's Concrete Shells: An Engineered Architecture for México and Chicago roots Félix Candela (1910-1997) as one of the most prolific architects of the 20th century in his advanced geometric designs and lasting influence in contemporary architecture. Originated through the research of scholar Juan Ignacio del Cueto and curated by the architectural theorist and designer Alexander Eisenschmidt, the exhibition spotlights Félix Candela’s Concrete Shells through photographs, architectural models, and plans, as well as his time as a professor at the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago from 1971-1978.
An exhibition showcasing the work of architect Félix Candela (1910-1997) is currently up at Gallery 400, located in the College of Architecture and the Arts at the University of Illinois.

Born in Madrid, Spain, Candela was exiled to Mexico at the end of the Spanish Civil War in 1939, where he lived for thirty years and established his career as an architect. 

Félix Candela is known for his experimental signature shell structures, which were massive architectural engineering undertakings. To create these curved designs he used hyperbolic paraboloid geometry to reinforce the numerous concrete shells. 
 
Félix Candela's Concrete Shells: An Engineered Architecture for México and Chicago roots Félix Candela (1910-1997) as one of the most prolific architects of the 20th century in his advanced geometric designs and lasting influence in contemporary architecture.

Born in Spain, Candela exiled to Mexico at the end of the Spanish Civil War in 1939, where he lived for thirty years and established his career as an architect. In the 1950s, ten years into his practice in Mexico, Candela debuted his experimental signature shell structures by designing a continuous curved surface of minimal thickness. His designs evolved as feats of architectural engineering, using hyperbolic paraboloid geometry to create numerous reinforced concrete shells. These curved and cantilevered forms were not only structural advancements but also brought new textural and atmospheric qualities to the social and communal spaces they shelter. Famous Candela structures include the Pavilion of Cosmic Rays at UNAM, Mexico City (1951); the Chapel Lomas de Cuernavaca, Cuernavaca (1958); Los Manantiales Restaurant, Xochimilco (1958); and the Palace of Sports for the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City.

In Chicago’s built environment, parallels to Candela’s work can be seen in the experiments with concrete architecture of the 1960s, including Walter Netsch’s UIC Campus and Bertrand Goldberg’s Marina City. Recently, formal influences of his innovations can be found in works by Zaha Hadid’s Heydar Aliyev Ali (Azerbaijan, 2013), FOA’s Yokohama Terminal (Japan, 2002), and UNstudio’s Burnham Pavilion (Chicago, 2009).

Félix Candela's Concrete Shells: An Engineered Architecture for México and Chicago is a collaboration between the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM).
Curators
Originated by Juan Ignacio del Cueto wit
h contributions by Lorelei Stewart
Venue
Gallery 400.
University of Illinois at Chicago. 400 South Peoria Street, Chicago, IL 60654. USA
Dates
From January 19, 2018 12:00 AM - Until M
arch 03, 2018 12:00 AM
Felix Candela, Chapel Palmira, Lomas de Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico, 1958-1959Works. Felix Candela, Chapel Palmira, Lomas de Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico, 1958-1959Works in progress. Félix Candela, Los Manantiales Restaurant, Xochimilco, Mexico City, 1958..Félix Candela, Los Manantiales Restaurant, Xochimilco, Mexico City, 1958..Félix Candela, Concrete roof shell in Botanical Garden, Oslo, Norway, 1962Verde Valle Sales Stand by Félix Candela, located in Guadalajara, Mexico. 1960.La Jacaranda Cabaret, Presidente Acapulco Hotel by Félix Candela located in Acapulco, Mexico. 1957.Works. Felix Candela, Chapel Palmira, Lomas de Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico, 1958-1959