Contents and Arrangement

Series 1: Professional Work, 1910s-2007 (mostly 1935-1997)

15 boxes

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

This series contains materials related to Félix Candela's professional work as an architect, structural engineer, and master builder, both for his own company and as a technical advisor for other firms. Included are many black-and-white and color photographs, slides, negatives, and transparencies showing Candela's finished structures and works under construction, along with some architectural drawings, sketches, and designs, and a smaller quantity of maps, calculations, and project files pertaining to specific buildings. Rather than serving as traditional architectural project files, the materials in this series document the design, construction, and completed forms of many of Candela's buildings, primarily through photographs, and secondarily, through Candela's architectural drawings and specifications, which provide insight into his design process. This series includes an original run of conceptual files on specific buildings, arranged by architectural feature or theme, that contain both photographic materials and architectural drawings. Also present is a group of slides and negatives of Candela's work, along with microfilms of technical articles related to his projects, that he organized separately by medium, and additionally, a group of Candela's photographic materials, which were later arranged based on their use for research and publication in a book by Maria Garlock and David Billington, Félix Candela: Engineer, Builder, Structural Artist (Princeton University Art Museum, 2008). These divisions were preserved in order to maintain contextual evidence regarding use and original organization. Researchers looking for photographs of a specific building should note that relevant materials may therefore be present in all three subseries.

Candela's architecture practice focused on the design of roofs and enclosures for buildings. His drawings and papers reflect this practice in that they demonstrate the overall design principles and geometrical logic of the building, rather than provide detailed construction sets. Similarly, photographs of Candela's buildings under construction tend to depict the erection of the shell, along with any related scaffolding and concrete pouring, rather than any work on the interior of the building. While photographs and other materials related to most of Candela's major works and many of his smaller projects are included in this series, some of the most thoroughly represented include La Milagrosa (Iglesia de la Medalla de la Virgen Milagrosa), Los Manantiales Restaurant at Xochimilco, Capilla Abierta Lomas de Cuernavaca, the Bacardí Rum Factory, Palacio de los Deportes for the Mexico City Olympic Games, Bernabéu Real Madrid Stadium, and L'Oceanogràfic, an oceanarium and restaurant in Valencia.


This series is arranged into three subseries: Conceptual Files, Slides and Negatives, and Photographs for Félix Candela: Engineer, Builder, Structural Artist.

Collection History

Custodial History

Prior to their move to the Special Collections, the Félix Candela Papers were housed at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, where they were used as research materials for Maria Garlock and David Billington's book, Félix Candela: Engineer, Builder, Structural Artist (Princeton University Art Museum, 2008). Maria Garlock facilitated Dorothy Candela's donation of these materials to Princeton University beginning in 2006-2007, as an addition to what was then referred to as the Maillart Archives.


All materials were retained during 2014 processing, with the exception of a blank internal hard drive, which was discarded.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Kelly Bolding in May-July 2014. Finding aid written by Kelly Bolding in July 2014.

A box of oversize materials, formerly housed in Box 5, were rehoused into flat files in September 2021. As a result, there is no Box 5.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Trustees of Princeton University hold the copyright for materials in this collection that were created by Félix Candela. Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, any copyright vested in the donor has passed to The Trustees of Princeton University and researchers do not need to obtain permission, complete any forms, or receive a letter to move forward with use of donor-created materials within the collection. For materials in the collection not created by the donor, or where the material is not an original, the copyright is likely not held by the University. In these instances, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have a question about who owns the copyright for an item, you may request clarification by contacting us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Series 1: Professional Work; Félix Candela Papers, C1455, Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • This is stored in multiple locations.
  • Firestone Library (mss): Boxes 1-4; 6-11; 14
  • ReCAP (rcpxm): Boxes 12-13; 36

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Related Materials

Additional architectural records and papers of Félix Candela, including his office files from Cubiertas Ala, are held in the Department of Drawings and Archives at the Avery Architecture and Fine Arts Library at Columbia University.

Candela, Félix, 1910-1997