Structural art and the example of f́lix candela

David P. Billington, Maria Eugenia Moreyra Garlock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


David P. Billington, Hon.M.ASCE discusses that Félix Candela was an engineer who designs efficiently and with a builder's mentality and called him a master builder. David states that Candela was a structural artist who also possessed strong artistic qualities. He explains that a work of structural art is always the product of one person's imagination, an individual who conceives a new form, visualizes its final appearance, defines it by calculations, and develops a means of building it. Candela work was directed toward understanding the performance of thin-shell concrete structures under load, and explored the building process for such forms. Candela's significant structures were all of the hyperbolic paraboloid (hypar) form, and nearly the whole surface only 4 cm (1.5 in.) thick. The doubly curved surface of the hypar form was developed with two straight line generators that enabled Candela to achieve economy of construction by avoiding curved boards in construction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-342
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Structural Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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