Félix Candela and the origins of inspiration

Maria Eugenia Moreyra Garlock, David P. Billington

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Félix Candela is widely acknowledged to be one of the great structural artists of the twentieth century. Candela was born in Spain, and was exiled in 1939 to Mexico where he created all of his major thin shell concrete constructions. This paper examines Candela's process of design and illustrates through his major works that he acted first as a builder who not only constructs, but also makes the engineering design. He also takes a general form and plays with it to make structural art. Structural art implies efficiency, economy, and elegance; but we also illustrate how structural art also implies a sustainable design. Finally, we show that the inspiration for the designs of structural artists come from a process that begins with imitation, followed by innovation. Education is crucial for the future of structural art, and in studying it, educators, practitioners, and the general public can recognize the potential for this new art form in the 21st century.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationStructures Congress 2011 - Proceedings of the 2011 Structures Congress
Number of pages11
StatePublished - 2011
EventStructures Congress 2011 - Las Vegas, NV, United States
Duration: Apr 14 2011Apr 16 2011

Publication series

NameStructures Congress 2011 - Proceedings of the 2011 Structures Congress


OtherStructures Congress 2011
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLas Vegas, NV

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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