Finite-element analysis of Felix Candela's Chapel of Lomas de Cuernavaca

Powell Draper, Maria E.Moreyra Garlock, David P. Billington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The structures of Felix Candela stand as elegant examples of the art of thin shell concrete structural design. However, few thin shell structures are built today and many of the most enduring structures, such as those of Candela, have not been analyzed. This project performed a finite-element analysis of Candela's Cuernavaca Chapel in order to better understand its structural efficiency and gain insight into its design. Analysis results show that Candela's striking structure has very low stresses resulting from its own self-weight.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-52
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Architectural Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Building and Construction
  • Architecture
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


  • Finite element method
  • Hyperbolic parabolic shells
  • Structural analysis
  • Thin shell structures


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