Armando Salas Portugal

To put the architecture of Santiago Calatrava into historical context, one must look to the work of another Spanish architect-cum-engineer: Félix Candela, the subject of an eponymous retrospective now on view at Columbia University’s Wallach Art Gallery. Candela left his homeland following the Spanish Civil War, settled in Mexico, and built an international reputation as the designer of exquisite thin-shell concrete structures. The complex, hyperbolic paraboloid geometries of his Palmira Chapel in Cuernavaca (above) are only the more remarkable when one considers that the building opened in 1959—decades before the wide usage of 3D computer modeling. Through March 31. •