Thin shell concrete structures of Félix Candela and Max Borges Jr.

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Max Borges Jr. (1918 - 2009) was an architect of thin shell concrete structures in Cuba in the 1950's. During this time, Félix Candela (1910 - 1997) owned a construction company that was dedicated to the design and construction of thin shells. Candela also owned an international reputation as a designer of thin shells in the hyperbolic paraboloid (hypar) form. The two men worked together for the first time on a project in Mexico City in 1954, and since then collaborated on several more, most of them in Cuba. This paper illustrates the architect - engineer relationship between Borges and Candela and documents the collaborative projects between them. The research grew out of a course co-taught by the authors, where the course was inspired by the style of teaching of David Billington (1927 - 2018) that integrates engineering with the humanities. Billington believed in scholarship based on historical studies and documentation of heritage structures. This paper is in tribute to this great man who continues to inspire.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-58
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Mechanical Engineering


  • Borges
  • Candela
  • Cuba
  • Historic structures
  • Thin shell concrete


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