Historically speaking, Félix Candela (1910-1997) is regarded as the man who, from the 1950s onwards, along with Pier Luigi Nervi, revolutionized the way of portraying shape through shell-like roofs and reinforced concrete membranes.
As well as being a skilful architect, engineer and mathematician, he also penned many essays about shape and structure. What is shape? Why are certain animal, vegetable and mineral elements shaped in a particular way? How does shape respond to structural needs? Time and again, Candela looked deeply into the sense of the architect’s work and, in particular, the role of the engineer expected to give substance to shapes in reinforced concrete. By studying numerous documents from the archives and printed sources, the book examines the critical thinking which lay at the basis of Félix Candela’s creations, buildings that were considered masterpieces of structural engineering in the 1950s and 1960s. The book, illustrated with photos from the Candela archive, not only makes an in-depth historical analysis of the period when the architect developed his ideas and created some extraordinary shapes, but contains and translates Félix Candela’s writings (some of which he published under the title En defensa del formalismo y otros escritos) into English for the first time. The volume ends with a biography of the architect, a list of writings by Félix Candela, and a selected bibliography.