The Art of Structure at the Carnegie Museum of Art’s Heinz Architectural Center

Running from September 25, 2010 to January 17, 2011, The Art of Structure explores radical works of 20th-century engineering that are now in the canon of Modernist design. These projects, presented primarily through three-dimensional models, range from bridges spanning vertiginous valleys in the Swiss Alps to extraordinarily thin shells sheltering public markets in mid-century Mexico.


The Art of Structure brings together two exhibitions organized by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Princeton University and originally presented at the Princeton University Art Museum. Félix Candela: Engineer, Builder, Structural Artist focuses on concrete shell experiments in Mexico by the Spanish-born architect Félix Candela. The Art of Structural Design: A Swiss Legacy examines the work of four Swiss engineers, three renowned for bridge design, and the fourth for concrete shell construction.


The exhibition features approximately 20 models complemented by original drawings, notebooks, and photographs. Notable projects include the Los Manantiales restaurant near Mexico City, the Bacardí Rum factory in Mexico, Salginatobel Bridge in rural Switzerland, and the George Washington Bridge connecting Manhattan and New Jersey.


“The show highlights practical structures that are designed with remarkable economy and elegance and that significantly enrich civic life,” said Raymund Ryan, curator of the Heinz Architectural Center and organizer of The Art of Structure. “This exhibition provides the opportunity for Pittsburghers, understandably proud of our city’s unique collection of bridges, to view this heritage of Swiss bridge design.”


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