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Vol. 51 (2010) No. 1 March n. 163

Structural Analysis of the Cosmic Rays Laboratory

< Table of Contents for Vol. 51 (2010) No. 1 March n. 163
  • Journal Name: Journal of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (J. IASS)
  • ISSN: (Electronic Version) 1996-9015
  • ISSN: (Print Version) 1028-365X
  • Issue: Vol. 51 (2010) No. 1 March n. 163
  • Pages: 17-24
  • Title: Structural Analysis of the Cosmic Rays Laboratory
  • Author(s): K. Kelly, M. E. M. Garlock and D. P. Billington
  • Keywords: Candela, hyperbolic paraboloid, thin shell concrete, finite element analysis
Félix Candela is known as one of the greatest thin shell concrete designers and builders of the 20th century. His works were mostly of the hyperbolic paraboloid (hypar) geometric form and mostly only 4 cm (1.5 inches) thick. The first of his many hypar shells was the Cosmic Rays Laboratory, built in 1951 on the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) campus in Mexico City. The shell design consists of two adjacent hypar saddles supported by a platform and stiffened by three arches. This paper explores the design of the Cosmic Rays Laboratory using finite element models. The structural behavior of the Laboratory as built is compared to one that is of a barrel form and one that does not contain any stiffening arches. Ultimately, this investigation gives insight into Félix Candela’s earliest hypar design which served as both a learning experience and a prelude to his remarkable career as a shell builder.

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