Abstract:The essay focuses on the issue of the interior design of brutalist architecture. Moving from Banham’s researches about “New Brutalism” published in the fifties-sixties and from the interpretation of “interior” as an architectural and urban topic, the analysis ends with a project-manifesto by Ricardo Bofill: the transformation (focused on the adaptive reuse of interior spaces) of a concrete factory in Barcelona in a multifunctional building for living and working.
Abstract:Concrete transmutation, necessary for the construction of an architectural work, not only generates chemical-physical modifications that characterize the alchemical transition from the semi-solid to the solid state, but also implicit architectures – often unknown, impermanent or invisible – with autonomous poetry. This paper investigates the phenomenology of concrete architecture through a marginal look, i.e. by abstraction and discomposition, in search of those transient figures, concealed or not considered, which, like the finished work, enclose broad conceptual imaginaries that are fertile to architectural thought.
Abstract:Can creating Architecture be fun? Forming, constructing and creating are inseparably linked to architecture. How to capture the mystery of the design? How to find the answer to the question what was first? First – the idea! Or maybe, first – need? Is the mystery of architecture a geometric knowledge? What determines the good shape, form? Fashion or knowledge?
Abstract:Providing architects with the possibility to define spaces in a plastic way, prestressed concrete technology influenced the architectural trends of the 20th century. Taking a look at some iconic works realized using this material, it is worth to notice that they mostly are the results of a creative collaboration between the architect and the structural engineer. Often underestimated, engineers make a significant contribution not only to individual designs, but also to developing the architect’s imagination. August E. Komendant, who was an influential modern constructor famous as a pioneer in the field of prestressed concrete, was a long-time associate of architect Louis I. Kahn. By analysing selected examples of their team works, it is also possible to investigate the interaction between architect and structural engineer.
Abstract:The issues connected with the exploitation of the natural environment for building purposes indicate the problems of sustainable building and pay attention to the utilization of natural resources and energy. Keeping the balance between the use of construction materials and their renewability is becoming a necessity nowadays. Concrete constructions are one of the components, which might be used again in the building industry, ranging from the materials obtained in the process of concrete recycling to reusing entire concrete slabs obtained from the demolitions of the objects. Reusing concrete slabs might be an alternative to architectural solutions due to reduced costs at different stages of an investment and functioning of a building. In this article, the examples and experimental solutions are described, which refer to reusing prefabricated concrete slabs in new architectural objects. The current problems are connected with using the devastated and neglected concrete structures for their new functions, and they also include the issue of overlapping layers: the primary and original usage. The structure and scale of an object were adapted and a newly designed function compliant with the new needs and visual aesthetics is being placed in an original frame.
Abstract:The dichotomy of concrete can be expressed in its technical aspect as well as in its use as a material that develops multiple scenarios in space. Technological progress conveys us to review the perception of concrete not only as a rough and smooth, heavy and light material, but also cold and warm, transparent and non-transparent, fragile and bendable, monochromatic and coloured. With the appropriate admixtures or coatings, concrete can self-repair or conduct electricity. It is therefore expected that it still will be a plastic material that does not fit within the confines of the definition of art. The article presents examples of architectural facilities/projects, which, despite the lack of the latest “multi-tasking” super-concrete availability, involve the aspect of “transparency”, “bendability”, and “lightness” of concrete.
Abstract:The contemporary architecture became a sort of synthesis of all Wright’s additions to architecture. Organic building materials, such as: wood, brick, stone facing, became a part of the landscape, hiding the modern concrete technology. Subtle connections to the international style became its personification. In this way, whether we like Wright or not, he had a large impact on both the American and world architecture. The method of creating shape, beside the abilities of an outstanding designer to handle the concrete structure, creating aesthetic buildings and details, sleek columns and ornate concrete tracery, concluded in development of an architectural style, which presents the beauty of the concrete structure today. All with keeping Wright’s organic philosophy – becoming one with it.
Abstract:I do not like concrete. Why? No doubt, it is a consequence of first impressions. It is the fault of the wrong climate, wrong place and time – of the grey, rainy and chilly Poland of the 70s and 80s of the 20th century. Right now, it is too late and, at the same time, far too early for a fascination with concrete. There are too many negative associations with party hard-liners (in Polish “party concrete”), blocks of flats, callousness, mediocrity, dirt, hopelessness. And then, the Big Change. Studies at the Faculty of Architecture in the 90s and the discovery of Concrete ‘with a capital C’, as an Undisputed Idol…Maybe once again there are too many big words, references to concrete “moralists and dandies of architecture”…And now? Who knows, maybe it is a potentially good time for a transmutation – not only of concrete but also of our attitude towards it.
Abstract:Concrete used at the interface between architecture and art brings surprising solutions. In Michael Heizer’s work, it becomes a material for the artistic transformation of the city. In the constructed utopian space, the sculptor ponders on the structure and building material – natural and artificial. Like antique megaliths, the concrete forms are witness to what was or a prelude to what is to come. However, their geometrical harmony cannot be referred to the present. The carefully concealed concrete City lies undiscovered in the wilderness.
Abstract:Concrete is a respected architectural material now. Its extraordinary popularity results from its universal design and aesthetic qualities. However, the specific character of concrete as a building material may be manifested by imperfections resulting from executive errors. Striving to achieve perfect executive quality while controlling financial outlays has contributed to the popularization of precast concrete façade elements.
The elevation, as the outer layer of the building, performs a representative function, so the creators’ search for means that would allow the transformation of the “grey matter” into the perfect product is fully understandable.
The nature of technology, where prefabrication is the basic implementation component, is that the vast majority of façades made using precast concrete elements will be characterised by rhythmic, repetitive compositions and gradual divisions. However, when analysing contemporary projects, different conclusions can be drawn. They are characterised by great diversity, and architectural geometry does not necessarily have to be the result of the construction technology applied.
The analysis of directions in shaping the architectural expression has allowed three basic tendencies appearing in the architecture of façades finished with concrete prefabricated elements to be identified.