Felix Candela revisited at the IVAM
The prolific architect will be the focus of a retrospective by exploring his career in exile
The Contemporary Art Institute in Valencia and the Sociedad Estatal de Conmemoraciones Culturales will present this show dedicated to the Madrid born creator who developed most of his projects abroad. An ambitious task and almost unmanageable considering his fertility: 1450 signed projects, 896 buildings still standing and more than a million square metres to cover.
The exhibition focuses on the special circumstances surrounding his exile, it is comrised of photographs, maps and blue prints, drawings, mock ups of his most imortant buildings, personal objects and a multimedia section with documentaries of his life and work and 3D recreations of 20 of his buildings. In hornor of the centenary of his birth a catalogue of the exhibition will also be included. It has been written by the curator Juan Ignacio del Cueto Ruiz- Funes, Elisa Lozano, Juan Antonio Tonda Magallón, Inés Sánchez de Madariaga, Henry Vicente and Graciela de garay. The show will also benefit from a series of lectures and a workshop.
Contemporary engineering and architecture cannot be properly understood without the contributions made by Candela. His works, known for their economical materials and durability, are predecesors of the sustainable architecture so popular nowadays. Recognized as one of the most important architects of th etwentieth century, he has influenced such well known architects as: Norman Foster, Santiago Calatrava or Thomas Herzog.
The use of structures based on the parabola hyperbola and his renewd interest in the possibilities of concrete are only some of his accomplishments. Although he developed most of his career in Latin America, other works signed by him can also be found in Norway, England, Spain and the United States.
Feliz andela Outeriño (Madrid, 1910- Raleigh, North Carolina, 1997) finished his studies in architecture in 1935. His stay at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Spain earned him a sholarship to Germany he would have to reject with the outbrake of the Spanish Civil War. At the start of the Spanish civil war he joined the Engineer unit of the Ejercito Popular and travelled around the Republican regions until crossing the border to France in 1938. Once there he went on to a refugee camp from where he would leave for Mexico.
His beginnings in Mexico were difficult, after being deprived of his architecture degree he worked on projects signed of by his close friend Arturo Saénz de la Calzada. In 1941, after obtaining the Mexican nationality he is contracted by the construction company Viás y Obras where he would complete several sites in Alcapulco, Mexico city and Veracruz. It is in this period that he retakes his interest for concrete plates, developing his first experiments with this technique in 1949.
His alliance with the Fernández Rangel brothers, with whom he founded the construction company Cubiertas Ala, grants him the necessary liberty to completely develope his ideas. His innovative tecnique is adopted throughout the country and his radius increases throughout South America to countries such as: Guatemala, Cuba and Puerto Rico. But he reaches the pineacle of his career in 1968 with the construction of the Palace of Sports for the Olympics in Mexico city.
With the seventies he gradually begins to abandon his activity as an architect and goes on to become a consultant and advisor for several architecture studios throughout the world, as well as a distinguished lecturer in several American universities. In 1968 he returns to Spain for the first time and begins to visit frequetly although he resides in the United States, first in New York and later on in North Carolina where he passed away in 1997.