Julio Martínez Calzón – In Memoriam

On the afternoon of Tuesday 26th September, Julio Martínez Calzón, founder of MC2 Estudio de Ingeniería and a key figure of the Spanish structural engineering over the last 50 years, passed away.  

Graduating as a Civil Engineer from the Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros de Caminos de Madrid in 1962, he received his doctorate in 1968 with a thesis on the “Plastic behaviour of hyperstatic structures in reinforced concrete”.   

In 1966 “Composite Structures. Theory and Practice”, the first publication in Latin languages on composite structures was published. In 1978, his great piece of work “Composite Construction” was published, where he established, with utmost rigor, the determining aspects for the precise and comprehensive understanding of the deformative-resistant behaviour of composite structures. To this day, it remains an essential reference for the study of this type of structures.   

The Millennium bridge in Tortosa

Throughout his professional career, he contributed significantly to the development of innovative bridge typologies, building structures and construction processes; being recognised as the pioneer and foremost exponent of the development of composite steel-concrete structures in Spain.  

Within the field of bridges, Julio Martínez Calzón was a prolific and innovative engineer, having designed, among others,  the first modern Spanish composite bridge, the Juan Bravo-Eduardo Dato bridge, in 1968; the bridge over the Ciérvana estuary, which was the first bridge  in which the double composite action is used, the Millennium bridge in Tortosa, achieving the world record at the time with a main span of 180 m, the Centenary bridge in Seville, with a span of 265 m, or the Arenal bridge in Cordoba.   

The Centenary bridge in Seville

In the field of building structures, Julio Martínez Calzón brought to life the designs of many internationally prestigious architects, including: The Salamanca Conference Hall, the Altamira Caves Museum, the Canal Theatres, for Juan Navarro Baldeweg, the building for the Cantabria government´s new councils, for Rafael Moneo, the Palau Sant Jordi  in Barcelona, the “Casa del Hombre”, the Palafolls Pavilion, for Arata Isozaki, the Community of Madrid stadium, initially known as La Peineta and later, after its expansion, as “Estadio Metropolitano” (Metropolitan Stadium), for Cruz and Ortiz; the Collserola Tower, for Norman Foster, the new headquarters of Gas Natural, and the Spanish pavilion for the Shanghai Expo for Benedetta Tagliabue; in the area of high-rise buildings, the  Espacio Tower (now Emperador), the Sacyr Tower (now PwC), the Zero Zero Tower or the Water Tower.   

The new headquarters of Gas Natural

Between 1965 and his retirement in 2003, he taught different subjects at the School of Civil Engineers at the Technical Universities of Madrid and Santander, particularly those corresponding to composite structures, a field in which he held international relevance.   

Julio defined himself as a humanist engineer, combining his unique technical creativity, an outstanding aesthetic sensibility that led him to carry out work in the most diverse fields, from philosophy to the arts, highlighting his great work recently published on 19th century painting.   

MC2 Team

His work has been widely recognised, having received, among others, the ACHE Medal, the Medal of Professional Merit of the Spanish Civil Engineers Institution, the appointment as Honorary Member of the Institute of Architects and, finally, the National Prize of Civil Engineering, in 2017.   

Following the incorporation of MC2 into the TYPSA Group, in 2012, he became a member of the Advisory Board of the Group. With his passing, we lose an excellent engineer and an exceptional person.   

May he rest in peace.   

Álvaro Serrano
Technical Director MC2

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