Under the circumstances, Torroja, who had drastically reduced his designing activity in the years prior, put all his energy into developing the ITCC and the Central Laboratory. As director, he was the driving force behind the construction of a new headquarters both for the laboratory and for the institute. The latter was completed in 1953. The simultaneous directorship of the two centres enabled him to coordinate what he viewed as complementary research efforts with no unnecessary overlapping, integrating the two groups of scientists in a common endeavour. In a matter of only a few years, the Central Laboratory became the benchmark for scale model structural analysis, testing structural designs submitted by many a European engineer. The ITCC studied the structural behaviour of reinforced and precast concrete, focusing on the industrialisation of construction and technical standards, especially in connection with the new probabilistic approach to structural safety. The journal Informes de la Construcción was also founded and the first issue released in 1948. Its articles on domestic and international scientific, technical and architectural developments featured articles describing works by Saarinen, Aalto, Nervi, Salvadori, Neutra, Le Corbusier, Lloyd Wright, Van der Rohe, Hossdorf and Candela, to name a few.

 

 

 

     Standing on his own international prestige, earned before he was 40 years old, Torroja used the ITCC and the Central Laboratory to integrate Spanish engineering in Europe at a time when it was politically difficult for Spain to attain international acceptance. In 1945 he was elected President of the newly created Réunion Internationale des Laboratoires d’Essais de Matériaux, RILEM. He took an active part in the creation of the Comité Européen du Béton, CEB, whose membership, despite the name, included both the United States and the USSR, and which played a decisive role in the development of European technical standards for reinforced concrete. He was also active in the Fédération Internationale de la Précontrainte, FIP, founded by Freyssinet, whom he succeeded as president in 1958. In that role, he promoted the creation of the CEB-FIP Joint Committee to harmonise reinforced and prestressed concrete standards. He was co-founder and first President of the International Association for Shell Structures, IASS, which, at his death in 1961, dedicated the cover of its journal to the Spanish engineer, printing the caption "Eduardo Torroja, founder" over a plan drawing of the reinforcement for the Algeciras Market. Moreover, Eduardo Torroja shared this international activity with the architects and engineers, physicists and chemists from the two research centres he directed, as well as with Spanish construction industry representatives, who at his urging also attended the meetings of these institutions.

 

 

     

     Beginning in 1953, with the Central Laboratory and the institute fully consolidated, Torroja resumed his engineering activity, albeit on a part-time basis. In light of the high cost of the formwork for his beloved non-cylindrical thin shells, for Pont de Suert Church (Lérida, 1954) he used a closed design, consisting of a set of reinforced brick double curvature shells. One of his most prominent works is the 3 000‑m3 water tower at Fedala, Morocco (1956), which clearly reflects the approach adopted in his designs. The vat is a vertical parabolic hyperboloid. By prestressing the concrete along its straight generators but not parallel to the surface as in standard practice, he ensured that the prestressing rib anchorages would be invisible from the outside, attaining a smoothness and simplicity of form in keeping with his aesthetic credo: functionality, structural veracity, formal simplicity. The toroidal roof over the tower, in turn, is made of reinforced brick.

 

 

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eduardotorroja Día espectacular el que disfrutó el grupo de "Madrid Distinto" en @HipodromoMadrid 🐎. Una vez más los visitantes pu… https://t.co/vBOLYsn3wY
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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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