A major component of Roman buildings and architecture, concrete has played a role in construction advancements for millennia. Rediscovered during the
A major component of Roman buildings and architecture, concrete has played a role in construction advancements for millennia. Rediscovered during the Industrial Revolution, concrete is arguably today’s most widely used structural material. Yet, its association during the 20th century with housing block and office slab comprising much of urban development has tarnished concrete’s image. Its early contribution to the progress of building technology as an object of mass production Û not only in its constituent elements, like cement and steel, but in the types of structures it generated Û has long carried the connotation of monotony and faceless anonymity.
Now, that image is under revision as concrete enters a new and astonishingly vital cycle. So argues Liquid Stone: New Architecture in Concrete, a 248-page, lavishly illustrated volume recently published by Princeton Architectural Press. Highlighting concrete’s aesthetic and structural versatility in an impressive range of applications, the book includes sections devoted to Structure, Surface as Substance, Sculptural Form, and the Future of Concrete. Central themes are illustrated with 248 color and 75 b&w photographs that provide striking images of projects throughout North America, Japan, Austria, Spain, Germany, France, Denmark, Italy, and Mexico. Detailed descriptions and technical drawings of 30-plus buildings by renowned international architects Jean Nouvel, Tadao Ando, Zaha Hadid, Norman Foster, and Santiago Calatrava further portray concrete as a dynamic building medium.
Liquid Stone is published with the support and assistance of the Lafarge Group as part of its Creative Materials initiative. Also included in that global educational program is the producer’s sponsorship of Liquid Stone: New Architecture in Concrete, a 2004-2006 exhibition at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. Û $65, Princeton Architectural Press, www.papress.com