In 1927 he left the company and set up his own engineering office in Madrid where he cradled new ideas that led to innovative designs and works. His inspiration targeted not only engineering per se, but extended as well to the Modernist architecture defended by Le Corbusier during the first International Congress for Modern Architecture (CIAM) held in 1928 at Sarraz Vaud Castle, Switzerland. Eduardo Torroja Miret was one of the few engineers with the artistic sensitivity and technical ingenuity able to merge structural form with the architectural conceit of which it formed an essential part. Alongside Robert Maillart (Switzerland), Eugène Freyssinet (France) and Pier Luigi Nervi (Italy), he is often regarded as one of the four most influential engineers in the technical and aesthetic development of concrete in the first half of the twentieth century.




     In 1927 he was nominated by José Eugenio Ribera to sit as an engineer on the Technical Committee formed to build the Madrid university campus under the leadership of Modesto López Otero, in conjunction with architects Agustín Aguirre, Pascual Bravo, Miguel de los Santos, Manuel Sánchez Arcas and Luís Lacasa. His involvement was not restricted to engineering design and works, but included masterful participation in most of the architectural structures, assimilating the new Modernist architectural aesthetic from the outset, which he integrated in his innovative and original structures. The outcome of that activity includes the three viaducts built on the university campus in 1933, Quince Ojos, Aire and Deportes; the retaining wall for Cantarranas Stream (1933); and the stadium tramway station (1933). He also took part in the structural engineering for the Faculties of Science (1934), Medicine (1934) and Pharmacy (1934), the Students' Dormitory (1935), the steam power plant (1935) and the university hospital (1935).



     During that period prior to the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936, Eduardo Torroja Miret designed some of his most famous and outstanding reinforced concrete shells. He earned international renown for his Algeciras Market (1935), with its spherical thin shell roof just 9 cm thick, supported by eight perimetric columns and spanning the 47.62‑metre diameter of the resulting circle; the Recoletos Jai-alai Court at Madrid (1936), in which two cylinders measuring 12.20 and 6.40 m in diameter (two-lobed cross-section) and 8 cm thick intersected to form a thin shell roof that spanned the 55 m between the enclosure walls; or Madrid's Zarzuela Race Track (1935), whose stands are roofed by a thin shell consisting of a series of horizontal hyperboloids just 5 cm thick at the outer edge, which cantilevers 12.80 m from the supports. Unfortunately, the jai-alai court was severely damaged during the Civil War and collapsed as a result.


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Fundación Eduardo Torroja  −  C/ Almagro nº42, 28010 Madrid    −   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.     Privacy Policy     Translated by Margaret Clark

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