Abstract:The crumbling reinforced concrete reveals reinforcement bars that crack and bend gradually. This way the hidden parts of the construction elements are transformed into a mean of expression, a kind of a predatory detail of a ruin that is not present in the ruins of structures built of traditional materials. Using the image of reinforced concrete as a ruin would not be possible without the catastrophe of the Second World War and the future reflection on the mechanisms that caused its outburst and made it so tragic. Concrete and its reinforcement, transmuted into a symbolic quality – even at the cost of actual destruction or in the process of at least partial recomposition and stylization of the ruined elements – are the means of expression that seem promising for many contents of contemporary architecture and large-scale sculpture complexes. The above-mentioned problems were discussedin cases of military barracks in Westerplatte, ruined in 1939, ruins of Warsaw in 1945, drawing by B. W. Linke Powrót (Return, 1946) and memorial in former Nazi extermination camp in Bełżec (1997–2004).
Abstract:When outstanding architects of the modern movements in architecture laid the foundations of the new conception of housing, they strove to build them with new materials in all areas. The author of the l’Esprit Nouveau Pavilion and the Unit is associated with concrete not without a reason. Traditional materials, divisible into repetitive bricks and blocks, did not meet the assumption of measurement with a new recursive scale. The reinforced concrete, while flexing in an extensively formed formwork, took the dimensions of the Modulor pattern. Thus, the trend was born to use concrete to create highly personalised residential buildings, corresponding to the formal and aesthetic assumptions. The second trend, highlighted in the article, is related to the invention used firstly in Liverpool in the early 1900s by John Alexander Brodie. The concrete prefabrication, mentioned here has gained the value of an innovative architectural technique, among others, in Habitat 67 designed by Moshe Safdi. It also had a terrible impact on the spatial environment, mainly in Eastern Europe in the second half of the 20th century. The article strives to express the importance of two extremely different streams of concrete used in residential building. It highlights their specific characteristics, important historical precedents and influence on the shaping of architectural theory and education.
Abstract:The aim of this article is to show the possibility of the transmutation of concrete and its significance in the reception of contemporary space based on the example of selected works. Concrete is a material that creates new meanings and shapes through conversion (transmutation). An observer can perceive its values and stylistics. This material was appreciated by designers and their works shaped the architecture of the 20th century. At present, concrete as a material is integrated into the extensive stylistics of the contemporary architecture. Examples include the minimalist designs of Tadao Ando or S teven Holla’s exposed concrete façades. The architectcreator shaping the architectural works brings the material properties, such as endurance and durability to the foreground, and shows the possibilities of its formation. It should be added that the art of concrete formation enables considerable arbitrariness in the creation of the geometry and the structure of the buildings. An interesting example is the sculptural coating of the Bosjes Chapel designed by the Steyn Studio.
Formal expressiveness and structural capabilities of concrete show how the art of constructing buildings is linked to the architectural composition. Peter Zumthor believes that the sense given to the material lies outside the boundaries of the principles of composition, while the tangibility, the smell, and the manner of acoustic expression are only the components of the language, which we are meant to speak.
Abstract:Concrete as a building material was already known in ancient Rome. However, in the following centuries, knowledge of its production was lost. In the nineteenth century, builders began to use this material again. The leading role in the development of modern concrete was played engineers and architects working in Paris. The article highlights the most important discoveries and innovations in reinforced concrete constructions, including those of François Coignet, Joseph Monier and François Hennebique. The author presents also the development of concrete architecture in Paris passing through the following stylistic phases: historicism, functionalism, brutalism, late modernism and postmodernism. The analyses are based on buildings designed by such architects as Auguste Perret, Le Corbusier, Gerard Grandval, Ricardo Bofill and others.
Abstract:The transmutation of concrete includes the existence of the material as an element of ordinariness and, at the same time, its dematerialization as a noble spatial form. Contemporary architecture seeks answers for the role of the architect in the future society. Also looking for a new form of expression in social engagement of the designers. Such attempts were recognized in the awarding of Pritzker Prize 2016 to Alejandro Aravena. It also shows the possibilities of the transformation of such a traditional architectural material as the concrete, not only through the pursuit of ideal proportions of an architectural object, but through the emotional involvement in the solving of social problems.
Abstract:Concrete, at one point the programmatic building material of classical modernism, was discredited in the eyes of many in the postwar years on account of lacking sensitivity. But regardless of its vintage, if the architectural conception is convincing, this material’s qualities will come to the fore. At present, architects employ concrete in its many facets as a matter of course. When it is to be visible, its appearance can be calibrated from deliberately coarse and rough to smooth and polished – not to mention the wide range of different colours and forms. Concrete’s sensual qualities often contribute significantly to the architectural effect. The selection of projects in this paper includes some surprising ways of using concrete.
Abstract:Concrete is a material that was perceived, especially in the 1980s and 1990s, to be ordinary and one of the most readily available, also called the cheapest. Many designers of sacral architecture used concrete as one of the necessary construction materials. Properly chosen and prepared, well used in the construction and interior creation, it became a material with diverse applications for architects. The use of this common material turns out to be much broader, which is proven by churches made almost exclusively of concrete, becoming a material of unusual properties and possibilities of work creation.
Abstract:The latest, over one hundred-year period of the material evolution of concrete (reinforced concrete) has turned it in to a modern architectural material, which, being exceptionally susceptible to plastic moulding, allows one to combine, within one matter, the visual expectations of the creator-artist with the possibilities of designing its engineering properties. The process of transforming concrete from a “common”, purely utilitarian material into a kind of ideological matter whose primary role has become its aesthetic value can be termed as transmutation. This phenomenon seems to have a determinative significance in shaping theoretical foundations for a certain area of architecture, which aspires to the name of the contemporary avant-garde, today commonly referred to as “concrete architecture”. Concrete itself has gained some kind of ennoblement, understood in terms of the idealised apotheosis of matter.
Abstract:The paper is an attempt at outlining new possibilities in the shaping of the architectural forms of structures that are the result of the development of new concrete technologies brought about as a consequence of technological progress. Achievements in this field lead to the creation of new types of architectural materials with much better properties and technical parameters than the ones currently available, as well as enabling their wider use. They make it possible to create architectural forms with much larger structural spans, increased durability and resistance. New variants of concrete are friendly to the environment. Walls made out of concrete remove pollutants from the air of large agglomerations. This is also invariably associated with a change in thinking about concrete as an architectural material.