Félix Candela from Mexico City to Chicago: Rise and Fall of Experimentation in Concrete, ed. Alexander Eisenschmidt (Barcelona: Actar, 2023), forthcoming.
Felix Candela (1910-97) is one of the most important architects of the 20th century and one of the most iconic figures in Latin-America, who became world-renowned for his many captivating structures in Mexico City and across the globe. Therefore, it comes as a big surprise that his time in Chicago, from 1971 to 1978, is almost entirely unknown. Understanding this transitional period (from Central to North America), however, is not only of historical importance, but it also enables us to see Candela’s earlier architectural innovations in a new light as much as it sheds light on Chicago’s architectural culture of the 1970s. This collection of essays, interviews, and translations will emphasize the specific political, economic, and material conditions that first facilitated Candela’s work in Mexico, then prompted his departure, and eventually obscured his practice in Chicago.
The book and research project was awarded the Creative Activity Award from the Office of the Vice Chancellor of Research and the Faculty Scholarship Support Grant at the University of Illinois at Chicago.