Liquid Stone: New Architecture in Concrete by Jean-Louis Cohen, G. Martin Moeller

By Jean-Louis Cohen, G. Martin Moeller

Produced at a fee of five billion cubic yards in line with yr, concrete is the second one most generally fed on substance in the world, after water. it's ubiquitous and simply taken with no consideration because the stuff of sidewalks and roads, energy vegetation and parking garages. Concrete can be, in spite of the fact that, a popular fabric of state of the art architects and engineers, who worth not just its versatility and energy yet its limitless strength for imaginitive expression. A hybrid substance made of cement, water, sand, and mineral aggregates, concrete—or liquid stone—has no intrinsic shape. within the fingers of gifted designers, its final visual appeal is dictated by means of the framework into which it's poured and the colour, texture, or trend utilized to its floor.

In a sequence of essays via best architects, engineers, and students, Liquid Stone explores the character of concrete, its previous and destiny, from technical, inventive, and old views. Over thirty constructions via best overseas architects together with Jean Nouvel, Herzog & de Meuron, Zaha Hadid, Steven Holl, Norman Foster, and Santiago Calatrava are awarded via designated descriptions, photos, and technical drawings.

The booklet concludes with "The way forward for Concrete," a bankruptcy on newly rising fabrics. the following self-consolidated, ultra-high-performance, and translucent concrete are illustrated, introducing the subsequent new release in concrete expertise and suggesting new instructions for either structure and engineering.

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Figure 16] One of the most interesting chapters in this chronicle deals with the encounter of military technical expertise and civilian programs in housing. The Hausbaumaschine featured in the Bauordnungslehre published in 1943 by Ernst Neufert (1900–1966), then Albert Speer’s main deputy at the German Ministry of Armament, fulfilled the dream of the ultimate mobile factory. 27 [Figure 17] Even if Neufert’s plan never left the drawing board, the continuity between wartime concrete construction and postwar rebuilding campaigns—through the recycling of airplane technology, for instance—cannot be ignored.

Rather than learning from each development, we seem to develop each new principle just so far and then abruptly abandon it and set off on some wholly new trajectory. The theory of structural rationalism held that architecture developed progressively toward the refinement and perfection of structure—but with concrete, we have a field littered with truncated techniques. Each new generation of constructors seems to have approached concrete as if they were starting from scratch with a material only just discovered, as thought they were dealing with a material without a history.

Varying the material’s ingredients, he added quartz crystal to intensify the pristine whiteness of the structural elements. The originality of the technique lay in the exploration of the aesthetic potential of repeatable elements, where structure and envelope were molded into one 47 and the same form, and built in a single operation. Pei used this system in a number of residential projects, among them University Gardens in Chicago (1961). 14 The alternative to cast-in-place concrete was prefabrication.

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