Contents and Arrangement

Structural Design: H.P. Roofs, Geodesics, Big Span Domes, 1955-1967

1 folder

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information


The collection documents the professional and personal activities of Félix Candela over much of his lifetime and contains a diversity of materials ranging from his childhood photographs from the 1910s and notes from his school days in the early 1930s in Madrid, to photographs, architectural drawings, writings, and correspondence, representing his life and professional contributions to the field of architecture from 1950 until his death in 1997.

The papers contain a wide range of photographic media documenting Candela's buildings under construction and following completion, architectural drawings, plans, calculations, and notes for some of his famous churches, stadiums, and factories, typescripts, drafts, and clippings of lectures and published articles on various topics related to structural analysis and design, a group of professional and personal correspondence, as well as travel itineraries and receipts related to his participation in international architecture conferences and gatherings. Also included are Candela's appointment books and personal expense ledgers, student artwork, college course notebooks and study guides, awards and certificates honoring his work, personal and travel photographs, identification papers and official documents, reference files and clippings on different architectural styles and topics, clippings of writings by and about Candela, and several VHS tapes regarding his work.

Rather than serving as traditional project or business files, such as his Cubiertas Ala office files, which are held elsewhere, these papers provide a broader view of Candela's personal life and practice of architecture, including ample photographic documentation of his buildings and major structural acheivements using hypars, fans, umbrellas, and other unique shapes. Also represented here are materials related to Candela's role as a lecturer and proponent of efficient thin-shell design at international architecture conferences and colleges, as well as materials demonstrating the relationship between his education and the trajectory of his professional career. The original arrangement of Candela's files was preserved when it was discernable, and often observes thematic relationships rather than strict chronological or other practical divisions.

Researchers should be aware that, in keeping with the bilingual nature of materials in this collection, Candela labeled some of his files in Spanish and others in English. Original folder titles were transcribed in the language in which they were found, and thus reflect this variation. Occasionally, a folder with a title in Spanish is followed by another folder with the same title in English. This practice reflects original divisions of some materials by language, and reflects Candela's international practice. When no original file labels were present, titles were generally supplied in English.

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.

Archival Appraisal Information:

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

Access & Use

Access Restrictions:

This collection is open for research.

Conditions for Reproduction and Use:

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The Trustees of Princeton University hold the copyright for materials in this collection that were created by Félix Candela. When copyright is held by Princeton University, researchers will not need to obtain permission, complete any forms, or receive a letter to move forward with non-commercial use of materials from Firestone Library.

Credit this material:

Structural Design: H.P. Roofs, Geodesics, Big Span Domes; 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:
ReCAP (rcpxm): Box 26

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