CONCRETE IS AWESOME

A blog dedicated to the most amazing building material - concrete.
"Candela’s stimulus for the form of Los Manantiales Restaurant in Xochimilco, Mexico City came from Colin Faber, who was working with Candela at Cubiertas Ala. Faber had made a rough sketch that somewhat resembled the final form of the restaurant; Candela liked the idea, so he took it and redesigned it into a more graceful shape.1 The form of the shell was a play of the hypar with free curved edges, that is, the edges of the shell are parabolic and free of any edge stiffeners that would conceal the thinness of the shell. The groined vault consists of four intersecting hypars, a structure that he had not yet attempted.
The Cosmic Rays Laboratory, Candela’s first hypar shell, has curved edges just like those of the restaurant in Xochimilco. Where the laboratory has two saddles, one in front of the other, the restaurant belongs to a type of shell structure called groined vaults. The groins are the valleys in the shell formed at the convergence of the intersecting hypars. The restaurant was not Candela’s first groined vault. He had designed a few others before Xochimilco, but none so striking.”

"Candela’s stimulus for the form of Los Manantiales Restaurant in Xochimilco, Mexico City came from Colin Faber, who was working with Candela at Cubiertas Ala. Faber had made a rough sketch that somewhat resembled the final form of the restaurant; Candela liked the idea, so he took it and redesigned it into a more graceful shape.1 The form of the shell was a play of the hypar with free curved edges, that is, the edges of the shell are parabolic and free of any edge stiffeners that would conceal the thinness of the shell. The groined vault consists of four intersecting hypars, a structure that he had not yet attempted.

The Cosmic Rays Laboratory, Candela’s first hypar shell, has curved edges just like those of the restaurant in Xochimilco. Where the laboratory has two saddles, one in front of the other, the restaurant belongs to a type of shell structure called groined vaults. The groins are the valleys in the shell formed at the convergence of the intersecting hypars. The restaurant was not Candela’s first groined vault. He had designed a few others before Xochimilco, but none so striking.”

"RATP Bus Centre in Thiais by Emmanuel Combarel Dominique Marrec is located in the southern suburban area of Paris along wide boulevards and roadway interchanges, in an industrial landscape characterised by a succession of boxes. The existing concrete crust that covers the evolution area of the buses is distorted, modeled to cover the administrative center. The building starts with the deformation of the ground and continues it with an apparently similar material, a sheet of ultra high performance concrete, paradoxical and superlative, 3 cm thick displaying a non slippery texture of dots in relief like a game of “LEGO” (24 mm diameter  x 7 mm high, distant  of 12 mm) contributing to a kinetic morphing which responds to very sophisticated demands : informality of the structure, constant evolution of the plans, density, homogeneity, dematerialization, precision, durability towards emphasized constraints. It ensures a continuity of the ground from the road, to the skin of the façades, the suspended ceilings and the terrace rooftop without any rupture, proposing a merging between the building and its support to a point of confusion. The building has neither a beginning nor an end."

"RATP Bus Centre in Thiais by Emmanuel Combarel Dominique Marrec is located in the southern suburban area of Paris along wide boulevards and roadway interchanges, in an industrial landscape characterised by a succession of boxes. The existing concrete crust that covers the evolution area of the buses is distorted, modeled to cover the administrative center. The building starts with the deformation of the ground and continues it with an apparently similar material, a sheet of ultra high performance concrete, paradoxical and superlative, 3 cm thick displaying a non slippery texture of dots in relief like a game of “LEGO” (24 mm diameter  x 7 mm high, distant  of 12 mm) contributing to a kinetic morphing which responds to very sophisticated demands : informality of the structure, constant evolution of the plans, density, homogeneity, dematerialization, precision, durability towards emphasized constraints. It ensures a continuity of the ground from the road, to the skin of the façades, the suspended ceilings and the terrace rooftop without any rupture, proposing a merging between the building and its support to a point of confusion. The building has neither a beginning nor an end."

"Designed by architect Justo Garcia Rubio, Casar de Cáceres bus station is an interpretation then combination of place and tradition. The bus station is located on the children’s way to school which defines its shape as a large loop to evoke the world of children’s dreams. The construction follows the region’s tradition of using one single material for all the building’s elements, in this case, it is a sheet of white concrete, which leads to the special structure, roof and spatial limits of the new transport station"

"Designed by architect Justo Garcia Rubio, Casar de Cáceres bus station is an interpretation then combination of place and tradition. The bus station is located on the children’s way to school which defines its shape as a large loop to evoke the world of children’s dreams. The construction follows the region’s tradition of using one single material for all the building’s elements, in this case, it is a sheet of white concrete, which leads to the special structure, roof and spatial limits of the new transport station"

"This elegant evening gown, called "Herself," is an experiment. By coating the dress with a special concrete mixture (yes, concrete!), designer Catalytic Clothing claims it can, allegedly (stress: allegedly), suck up nitrogen oxide and CO from the surrounding air. The air-purifying dress is a prototype—barely that, to be honest—but that hasn’t stopped its designers from proclaiming it could clean up the environment simply by entering the room with a flourished twirl. Building on that, there are other CO2-absorbing concretes on the market, so this isn’t entirely without merit. Whether this tiny, sexy little number has enough of the stuff on its surface to actually reduce surrounding emissions by 65%, as claimed, obviously remains to be seen.”

"This elegant evening gown, called "Herself," is an experiment. By coating the dress with a special concrete mixture (yes, concrete!), designer Catalytic Clothing claims it can, allegedly (stress: allegedly), suck up nitrogen oxide and CO from the surrounding air. The air-purifying dress is a prototype—barely that, to be honest—but that hasn’t stopped its designers from proclaiming it could clean up the environment simply by entering the room with a flourished twirl. Building on that, there are other CO2-absorbing concretes on the market, so this isn’t entirely without merit. Whether this tiny, sexy little number has enough of the stuff on its surface to actually reduce surrounding emissions by 65%, as claimed, obviously remains to be seen.”

"The cathedral was designed by local architects John Michael Lee, Paul A. Ryan and Angus McSweeney, collaborating with internationally known architects Pier Luigi Nervi and Pietro Belluschi — at the time, the Dean of the School of Architecture at MIT. Its saddle roof is composed of segments of hyperbolic paraboloids in a manner reminiscent of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Tokyo, which was built earlier in the decade. Due to its resemblance to a large washing machine agitator, the cathedral has been nicknamed "Our Lady of Maytag" or "McGucken’s Maytag". The building was selected in 2007 by the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects for a list of San Francisco’s top 25 buildings."

"The cathedral was designed by local architects John Michael Lee, Paul A. Ryan and Angus McSweeney, collaborating with internationally known architects Pier Luigi Nervi and Pietro Belluschi — at the time, the Dean of the School of Architecture at MIT. Its saddle roof is composed of segments of hyperbolic paraboloids in a manner reminiscent of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Tokyo, which was built earlier in the decade. Due to its resemblance to a large washing machine agitator, the cathedral has been nicknamed "Our Lady of Maytag" or "McGucken’s Maytag". The building was selected in 2007 by the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects for a list of San Francisco’s top 25 buildings."

"In 1950, when Corbusier was commissioned to design Ronchamp, the church reformists wanted to clear their name of the decadence and ornamental past by embracing modern art and architecture.  Spatial purity was one of Corbusier’s main focuses by not over complicating the program and removing the typical modern aesthetic from the design. The walls of Ronchamp give the building its sculptural character. The thick (4’-12’ thick), gentle curving walls act as a practical method of supporting the concrete and masonry construction, as well as the massive curvilinear roof.  However, the walls do not solely act as structural and sculptural elements; they also act as acoustic amplifiers, especially in the case of the eastern exterior wall that reflects the sound out over the field from the outdoor altar.”

"In 1950, when Corbusier was commissioned to design Ronchamp, the church reformists wanted to clear their name of the decadence and ornamental past by embracing modern art and architecture.  Spatial purity was one of Corbusier’s main focuses by not over complicating the program and removing the typical modern aesthetic from the design. The walls of Ronchamp give the building its sculptural character. The thick (4’-12’ thick), gentle curving walls act as a practical method of supporting the concrete and masonry construction, as well as the massive curvilinear roof.  However, the walls do not solely act as structural and sculptural elements; they also act as acoustic amplifiers, especially in the case of the eastern exterior wall that reflects the sound out over the field from the outdoor altar.”

"If the small form is not a problem for you, and is a favorite for you, then the collection of Paolo Lucidi and Luca Pevere will certainly charming in the display as a pendant light lamp in your home. Showing proper lighting on an occasional, tables and counter peninsula, alone or in some composition of, Foscarini introduce models hanging lamps of natural gray concrete with the spirit and technology, are completely original. The challenge is to create an extraordinary leap in scale: from large architectural construction for a little suspension lamp with a thickness of only few millimeters at best point, using a very flexible material. Become confidently, directly creating modern architecture through the visibility of the concrete materials. This is because with the use of special concrete for Aplomb lamp shades, which are mainly fluid in printing and has the effect of the material that is rough but it also shows the exotic impression."

"If the small form is not a problem for you, and is a favorite for you, then the collection of Paolo Lucidi and Luca Pevere will certainly charming in the display as a pendant light lamp in your home. Showing proper lighting on an occasional, tables and counter peninsula, alone or in some composition of, Foscarini introduce models hanging lamps of natural gray concrete with the spirit and technology, are completely original. The challenge is to create an extraordinary leap in scale: from large architectural construction for a little suspension lamp with a thickness of only few millimeters at best point, using a very flexible material. Become confidently, directly creating modern architecture through the visibility of the concrete materials. This is because with the use of special concrete for Aplomb lamp shades, which are mainly fluid in printing and has the effect of the material that is rough but it also shows the exotic impression."

"If you have ever flown in or out of the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, you may have experienced or noticed Eero Saareinen’s Trans World Flight Center. When Saarinen was commissioned in 1956, the client wanted this building to capture the “spirit of flight,” and as visitors rush to make it to their flight there is no choice but to admire the swooping concrete curves that embraced flyers into the jet age. The structure consists of a shell of reinforced concrete with four segments that extend outward from a central point. The concrete “wings” then unfold on either side of the exterior, preparing for flight. Within the concrete, the structure is reinforced with a web of steel. The large panels of glass beneath the concrete are also supported with steel, and have a contemporary purple-tint. These windows also highlight the purpose of the structure, providing views of departing and arriving jets.”

"If you have ever flown in or out of the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, you may have experienced or noticed Eero Saareinen’s Trans World Flight Center. When Saarinen was commissioned in 1956, the client wanted this building to capture the “spirit of flight,” and as visitors rush to make it to their flight there is no choice but to admire the swooping concrete curves that embraced flyers into the jet age. The structure consists of a shell of reinforced concrete with four segments that extend outward from a central point. The concrete “wings” then unfold on either side of the exterior, preparing for flight. Within the concrete, the structure is reinforced with a web of steel. The large panels of glass beneath the concrete are also supported with steel, and have a contemporary purple-tint. These windows also highlight the purpose of the structure, providing views of departing and arriving jets.”

"Concrete Speakers by industrial designer Shmuel Linski. We love the raw and industrial look of these and the idea of using the bare minimum in order to make them work. “The Horn speaker technology that I used in my project, works just great with the concrete, even without the need of padding the speakers from the inside. The Driver, which is located in the top part of the speaker, moves the air through a pipe (96cm long) and into a horn shaped mouth in the bottom of the speaker. The weight (56kg) makes the speakers very solid, and turns these speakers into a unique product, invoking a sense of nirvana for concrete lovers and audiophiles."

"Concrete Speakers by industrial designer Shmuel Linski. We love the raw and industrial look of these and the idea of using the bare minimum in order to make them work. “The Horn speaker technology that I used in my project, works just great with the concrete, even without the need of padding the speakers from the inside. The Driver, which is located in the top part of the speaker, moves the air through a pipe (96cm long) and into a horn shaped mouth in the bottom of the speaker. The weight (56kg) makes the speakers very solid, and turns these speakers into a unique product, invoking a sense of nirvana for concrete lovers and audiophiles."

"With its iconic arches, Toyo Ito’s new library at Tama Art University has the aura of a Romanesque building. But caves, not compression structures, were the architect’s inspiration, so any similarities to European antecedents are merely superficial. And unlike the straightforward, repetitive systems used historically, Ito’s high-tech concrete curves—each one different—tiptoe gracefully in multiple directions throughout the building.A continuous sheet of concrete, the building’s cavernous ground floor flows down to the north, following the land’s natural slope. It reads as a unified, slanting space accessed through an arcaded gallery. A circulation conduit and multipurpose exhibition hall all in one, this informal gallery has plenty of room for students to congregate around one of its built-in tables or display their work, be it a painting or a performance piece. It also acts as the entry foyer leading into the library, whose ground level contains the circulation desk, an administrative area, a media bar, and magazine display tables topped with glass that parallel the angled floor. A set of stairs shaped like a floating curlicue of concrete ascends to the second floor, where the main reading area flows into open stacks on one side and a two-story block of closed stacks on the other. Unlike downstairs, the floor plane here had to be level for the book trolleys that transport the library’s 10,000 volumes. But overhead, the ceiling tilts up gently, filling the entire second floor with soft, north light.”

"With its iconic arches, Toyo Ito’s new library at Tama Art University has the aura of a Romanesque building. But caves, not compression structures, were the architect’s inspiration, so any similarities to European antecedents are merely superficial. And unlike the straightforward, repetitive systems used historically, Ito’s high-tech concrete curves—each one different—tiptoe gracefully in multiple directions throughout the building.A continuous sheet of concrete, the building’s cavernous ground floor flows down to the north, following the land’s natural slope. It reads as a unified, slanting space accessed through an arcaded gallery. A circulation conduit and multipurpose exhibition hall all in one, this informal gallery has plenty of room for students to congregate around one of its built-in tables or display their work, be it a painting or a performance piece. It also acts as the entry foyer leading into the library, whose ground level contains the circulation desk, an administrative area, a media bar, and magazine display tables topped with glass that parallel the angled floor. A set of stairs shaped like a floating curlicue of concrete ascends to the second floor, where the main reading area flows into open stacks on one side and a two-story block of closed stacks on the other. Unlike downstairs, the floor plane here had to be level for the book trolleys that transport the library’s 10,000 volumes. But overhead, the ceiling tilts up gently, filling the entire second floor with soft, north light.”

"The designer Johan Forsberg has done such a great work in designing the hand crafted concrete clocks That he designed and produced in his own studio in Gothenburg, Sweden. The concrete clock is so unique and really unthinkable by making a clock out of concrete, out of the box thinking and creation but the result is just beautiful. The engine behind Forsberg Form is based on a desire to discover new angles of approach in testing and expanding the boundaries of possibilities one can accomplish with a material. Every product produced has its very own unique recipe which includes specially sourced sea sand from the öresund seabed, the stretch of water which separates Sweden and Denmark, as part of the ingredients."

"The designer Johan Forsberg has done such a great work in designing the hand crafted concrete clocks That he designed and produced in his own studio in Gothenburg, Sweden. The concrete clock is so unique and really unthinkable by making a clock out of concrete, out of the box thinking and creation but the result is just beautiful. The engine behind Forsberg Form is based on a desire to discover new angles of approach in testing and expanding the boundaries of possibilities one can accomplish with a material. Every product produced has its very own unique recipe which includes specially sourced sea sand from the öresund seabed, the stretch of water which separates Sweden and Denmark, as part of the ingredients."

"The Concrete Wall (Concrete Wallpaper) collection is designed by photographer Tom Haga based in Stavanger,Norway. The Concrete Wall collection is the result of photographing raw and refined concrete walls, raw cinder block walls and even grafitti, in locations right across Norway. The imagery used in this unique wallpaper is based on high-resolution photography and custom manipulation. No pattern is ever repeated, something that results in a very realistic finish. Depending on your personal wishes, we can make the wallpaper either lighter or darker, or even add a specific colour cast. The Concrete Wall collection is a high-quality vinyl wallpaper (approx. 350 g/m2 heavy, PVC coated non-woven). It is available up to 125cm (4,1 feet) in width. Rolls can be made to up to 25m (82 feet) in length. Important: No pattern is ever repeated!"

"The Concrete Wall (Concrete Wallpaper) collection is designed by photographer Tom Haga based in Stavanger,Norway. The Concrete Wall collection is the result of photographing raw and refined concrete walls, raw cinder block walls and even grafitti, in locations right across Norway. The imagery used in this unique wallpaper is based on high-resolution photography and custom manipulation. No pattern is ever repeated, something that results in a very realistic finish. Depending on your personal wishes, we can make the wallpaper either lighter or darker, or even add a specific colour cast. The Concrete Wall collection is a high-quality vinyl wallpaper (approx. 350 g/m2 heavy, PVC coated non-woven). It is available up to 125cm (4,1 feet) in width. Rolls can be made to up to 25m (82 feet) in length. Important: No pattern is ever repeated!"

"US Beton is a contemporary fossil; it can contain precious information about our Time. Like an architectural building, a USB stick is about space and storage capacity. Like an architectural building, USBéton is made out of concrete."

"US Beton is a contemporary fossil; it can contain precious information about our Time. Like an architectural building, a USB stick is about space and storage capacity. Like an architectural building, USBéton is made out of concrete."

"The phæno science centre building in Wolfsburg is a fantastic one. It’s design and function show in a perfect manner how close together fantasy and science actually are. Resting on its ten cone-shaped “feet”, the concrete structure spanning 154 meters seems to almost hover in the air, creating an aura which makes you want to step into this time-machine and take off. Designed by the Iraq-born architect Zaha Hadid, the imposing structure sits enthroned high above street-level. The exhibition space, resting on conic supports and sublimely illuminated, emerged as the victorious project from an international competition staged in 2000. The London-based architect has devised a home for phæno that breaks with many conventions and that liberates the area beneath it as a kind of urban space in the form of a covered artificial landscape with gently undulating hills and valleys. Since November 2005 now, the futuristic apparition has been raising eyebrows in amazement and making eyes gleam with awe among passers-by."

"The phæno science centre building in Wolfsburg is a fantastic one. It’s design and function show in a perfect manner how close together fantasy and science actually are. Resting on its ten cone-shaped “feet”, the concrete structure spanning 154 meters seems to almost hover in the air, creating an aura which makes you want to step into this time-machine and take off. Designed by the Iraq-born architect Zaha Hadid, the imposing structure sits enthroned high above street-level. The exhibition space, resting on conic supports and sublimely illuminated, emerged as the victorious project from an international competition staged in 2000. The London-based architect has devised a home for phæno that breaks with many conventions and that liberates the area beneath it as a kind of urban space in the form of a covered artificial landscape with gently undulating hills and valleys. Since November 2005 now, the futuristic apparition has been raising eyebrows in amazement and making eyes gleam with awe among passers-by."

"Although the search for infallible concrete is not new, the development of self-healing bacteria concrete is. By embedding calcite-precipitating bacteria into traditional concrete mixtures, this material will hopefully “heal” cracks that result from stress. Developed by Delft University of Technology, this self-healing bacteria concrete was created by use of nanotechnology. If implemented into everyday life, this marvelous material would save significant amounts of money in damage control."

"Although the search for infallible concrete is not new, the development of self-healing bacteria concrete is. By embedding calcite-precipitating bacteria into traditional concrete mixtures, this material will hopefully “heal” cracks that result from stress. Developed by Delft University of Technology, this self-healing bacteria concrete was created by use of nanotechnology. If implemented into everyday life, this marvelous material would save significant amounts of money in damage control."