Concrete, a material commonly used in the construction industry, is made of a binder combined with aggregates (or gravels), water, and certain additives. Its origins reach back as far as Ancient Egypt, when the construction of large structures created the need for a new kind of material: one which was liquid, featured properties of natural stones, could be molded, and communicated a sense of nobility and grandeur.
Although Ancient Egypt marked the first use of this new mixture, many other civilizations dedicated themselves to exploring it through different materials and processes. One notable example includes the pre-Hispanic civilizations of Mexico, where concrete structures proved to have exceptional durability in surviving over 1500 years of severe weather conditions. Even now, they remain significantly more resistant to modern conditions than many contemporary materials. While at first, the primary mixtures manufactured in this area were stucco, mortar, and concrete (which were used as fillers or algomerants in the buildings of numerous civilizations), they eventually evolved to become one of the main materials used in the construction industry, both for structural purposes and for final details.
Today, concrete continues to be explored by contemporary architects who explore how this material contrasts or compliments wood in spaces like the sea, the beach, the desert, and even the jungle, as is the case with the IK LAB and Azulik Gallery in Tulum. Another project, the Michel Rojkind Boca Forum, embraces the material to create a brutalist work that faces the Gulf of Mexico, while the Reforma Tower rises 246m in a wall of raw concrete. Inspired by unconventional works like these, we now present a compilation of projects that explore concrete's many possibilities throughout different scales and latitudes of Mexico. Read on for the full list.