Félix Candela. In memorian (1910-1997). From thin concrete shells to the 21st century’s lightweight structures.
Felix Candela's work is very inspirational in it's combination of artistic and engineering approaches. Often in the architecture world, the two disciplines are often seen as enemies. However what Candela proved was that when they work together properly, amazing designs can be produced. I admire his dedication to following his pursuit of this medium. He mastered the concrete shell and revolutionised the power it could hold.
Usually, when I consider the use of concrete, I think of it as heavy and cumbersome. I think of large and ugly panels or blocks. However, Candela has changed that, offering a new look at a material which is far more versatile than I have given it credit for in the past. I will be looking further into concrete more as an expressive material than a structural one.
I am also impressed by the way that he so rigorously investigated his passion. He began making scale models, even full sized models to explore and investigate what it was he was trying to achieve. Whereas this full size approach is not always possible, the scale models are. As a result of his models, he understood the concrete shells better and better. He then used them to help his designs too, making over 800 concrete shells. These designs were not just replicas of one another either.
This dedication to focus returns to what was said in an earlier reading about not trying to achieve too many things at once. Sometimes the best results come from a sole focus and idea or concept. Candela and works are proof of this. I feel further inspired to pursue, investigate and understand the elements of my projects. To understand them could very well allow for spectacular results.