What do you picture when you think of concrete? You might picture sidewalks, roads, or bridges. Félix Candela Outeriño imagined something more creative. He was a Spanish and Mexican architect (someone who designs buildings).
Candela was born in Madrid, Spain. He immigrated to Mexico when he was twenty-six years old. He also lived and worked in the United States. Candela designed many important buildings. He won awards for this talent and creativity.
Candela is well known for his creative use of concrete. He developed a method to make thin shells out of concrete, known as cascarones. These thin shells allowed for large, open spaces where many people could meet. Some of these shells were only one and a half inches thick!
Candela helped design the Sports Palace in Mexico City for the 1968 Olympics. This large, circular building is special because it does not have any columns inside to hold up the roof. It was important that everyone had a clear view of the basketball and volleyball games played here. This building can seat over 20,000 people. It is still used today for concerts.
Candela also taught architecture. He taught in Mexico and the United States. His work inspired other architects. Candela’s final project, L’Oceanogràfic, stands in Valencia, Spain. Candela used his famous thin, concrete shells to design this aquarium. The concrete roofs look like water lilies!
What Do You Think? What kind of building would you design if you were an architect? What materials would you use?
Photo Credit: (t)Eliot Elisofon/Contributor/Getty Images, (m) Gill_figueroa/Shutterstock, (b)Anastasiia Petrych/Shutterstock