Have You Seen This Building?

The So-Called Candela Structures


OK, there’s two of them, and they’re not really blue. They look more like this IRL:


(Here’s an entire set of pictures of them.) Have you seen them? Do you know their history?

UPDATE:  another entry about the Candela Structures, and stay tuned for information about the opening of our show in May at the City Reliquary.

I’ll tell you the whole story another time, but Paul and I are doing a project about these lovelies, and we know some things about these structures, we believe some things, and there are a bunch of things we don’t know, but would like to find out. If you know anything in the latter category, I would very much like to hear from you.

And because this week is full of meetings with engineers, drawing sets being issued, and the generally dicey process of documenting existing conditions (i.e. I am tired), I will give you the Reader’s Digest (that is to say bullet point) version for now, herewith:


  • The structures were built for the 1964 World’s Fair in Queens, as part of the “Marina of Tomorrow
  • They are made of reinforced fiberglass
  • Only two were ever built, though more were planned originally
  • They originally had flat glass walls under the fiberglass canopies
  • One held a Coast Guard office/information center, the other an Evinrude/Johnson Motors exhibit/info center
  • There is a plaque on site calling them “Candela Structures”
  • They look a lot like smaller versions of some of Felix Candela‘s other buildings


  • The architect of record is architect/industrial designer/inventor Peter Schladermundt
  • They were manufactured by Owens-Corning, delivered in pieces, and assembled on site


  • Did Felix Candela have any connection with the design of the structures?
  • If not, why were they called Candela structures?
  • Whose idea were they originally?
  • Were any similar small structures built elsewhere?
  • Why were only two built for the fair?
  • Why did they decide to keep the shells when most of the fair was torn down?
I’ll come back tomorrow and add some links to this list, but for now if you know anything further, please help us solve the mystery!



This entry was posted on Monday, February 9th, 2009 and is filed under architecture. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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One Response to “Have You Seen This Building?”


  1. Catasterist » Good Guys