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Concrete: The Latest Architecture and News

I.M. Pei & Partners' Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art Captured by Nipun Prabhakar

On the week commemorating American-Chinese architect I.M Pei’s birthday, Delhi-based photographer and photojournalist, Nipun Prabhakar, has shared with us a series of images of I.M Pei & Partners’ building, the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art. The firm was commissioned in 1968 by Cornell University to build the university’s museum that would also serve as a teaching facility and cultural center for the educational community. The building was completed in 1973 and was awarded the American Institute of Architects Honor Award in 1975.

© Nipun Prabhakar© Nipun Prabhakar© Nipun Prabhakar© Nipun Prabhakar+ 21

Ricciotti's Manufacture de la Mode Houses Chanel's Community of Creative Professionals

Designed by award-winning architect Rudy Ricciotti, the designer of the MuCEM in Marseille, the Jean-Boutin Stadium in Paris, and the Islamic Arts Exhibition in the Louvre Museum, the Manufacture de la Mode reintroduces Chanel's intricate craftsmanship in an architectural and urban context. Architectural photographer Simon Garcia uncovers the newly-inaugurated fashion community in a series of photographs.

© Simon Garcia© Simon Garcia© Simon Garcia© Simon Garcia+ 8

How to Structure Buildings as Bridges

Metaphorically, building bridges equates to creating new opportunities, connections, and paths. The first bridges likely formed naturally with logs falling across rivers and natural depressions, though humans have also been building rudimentary structures to overcome obstacles since prehistory. Today, technological advances have made it possible to erect bridges that are both impressive and sculptural, playing a key role in transportation and connectivity. Usually needing to overcome large spans, with few points of support, bridges can be quite difficult to structure. But when is the bridge more than a connection between two points, instead resembling a building with a complex program? How can these 'bridge houses' be structured?

MAD Architects' Wormhole Library Tops Out in Haikou, China

MAD Architects has unveiled that the Wormhole Library, had topped-out in the city of Haikou, China at the end of January 2021. The curved multi-functional structure, cast of white concrete, is scheduled to be completed and operational in the Spring of 2021. Once ready, the project will allow visitors to read, enjoy the sea views and attend open-air performances.

Courtesy of MADCourtesy of MADCourtesy of MADCourtesy of MAD+ 21

Concrete Pipes Transformed Into Architectural Elements and Living Spaces

Urban infrastructures provide comfort to inhabitants and mitigate the risks of disasters such as flooding. Underground systems specifically conceal urban infrastructures from public view and are configured as real mazes under the streets. The distribution of drinking water, urban drainage, sewage, and even electrical wiring and fiber optics in some cases, pass under our feet without us noticing. To this end, the industry developed precast concrete parts for about 100 years that provided construction speed, adequate resistance to force, and durability against time. Concrete pipes with circular sections, in many diverse diameters, are perhaps the most used conduits and are ubiquitous around the world. But there are also those who use these apparently functional elements in creative architectural contexts as well.

Exposed Concrete Apartments in Argentina

Boreas Building / Martín Aloras. Image © Walter SalcedoPueyrredón 1101 / Estudio Pablo Gagliardo. Image © Ramiro SosaLagos Building / Estudio Aire. Image © Walter Salcedo3DF / R2b1. Image © Javier Agustín Rojas+ 11

It's safe to say that concrete is one of the most utilized construction materials in large-scale architectural projects. In Argentina, the use of concrete to construct high-rise apartment buildings offers a variety of advantages, especially when it comes to durability and the time it takes to build. This has made it the go-to material for many architects.

Architectural Classics: Oscar Niemeyer Cultural Center / Oscar Niemeyer

© Leonardo Finotti© Leonardo Finotti© Leonardo Finotti© Leonardo Finotti+ 13

The Cultural Center was designed by architect Oscar Niemeyer and named after him. It is located in the city of Goiânia in the state of Goiás, Brazil, and was built on a 26 thousand square meter flat land called Esplanada da Cultura, a square dedicated to concerts and events, paying homage to former President Juscelino Kubitschek. The complex consists of four geometrically pure buildings: a rectangle that holds a public library, a cylinder where the Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC) is located, a dome that shelters the Music Palace, and a 36-meter-high pyramid that houses the Human Rights Monument.

From Stone Walls to Skyscrapers: Understanding Structural Masonry

The Monadnock Building in Chicago began construction in 1891 and is still in use today. The building features a somber facade without ornamentation and a colossal height - at the time - of 16 floors. It is considered the first skyscraper built in structural masonry, with ceramic bricks and a granite base. To support the entire load of the building, the structural walls on the ground floor are 1.8 meters thick, and at the top, 46 centimeters. One hundred and thirty years later, this construction system remains common and allows for the erection of taller buildings with much thinner walls, accomplishing even new architectural works economically and rationally. But what is structural masonry about, and how can designers use it in architectural projects? And for what kinds of buildings is this system most suitable?

Bamboo Formwork and Exposed Concrete in Architectural Projects

House for Trees / Vo Trong Nghia Architects. Image © Hiroyuki Oki
House for Trees / Vo Trong Nghia Architects. Image © Hiroyuki Oki

While concrete is without a doubt the world's go-to building material thanks to its durability, malleability, and ability to withstand a wide range of climates, it is also the principal source of CO2 emissions within the realm of construction. To combat this and reduce their creations' carbon footprint, many architects have begun experimenting and innovating in a bid to optimize concrete's technical qualities while diminishing its impact on the environment. Among these efforts, there are several projects that have explored the possibility of replacing traditional frameworks with more sustainable materials like bamboo, a resource that grows in abundance throughout many regions of the world and, along with having minimal environmental impact, renders high quality textured detailing on a variety of architectural surfaces.

An Oscar Niemeyer-Designed White Concrete and Glazed Sphere, Generates Extension for a Factory Canteen in Germany

Oscar Niemeyer’s latest work generated a spherical extension for the Kirow plant’s canteen in Leipzig, Germany. The architect was first approached by the factory’s owner in 2011, and following Niemeyer’s death in 2012, his sketches were further developed by assistant Jair Valera, and executed by Harald Kern Architects.

© Eyrise© Eyrise© Eyrise© Eyrise+ 12

12th Carbon and Textile Reinforced Concrete Days Take Place Digitally

Carbon textile-reinforced concrete is a composite of high-performance materials that is corrosion-resistant, thin, light, resource-friendly and environmentally friendly. It provides a basis for long-term endurance in construction, both in new buildings and in renovation or repair. Longevity and economic viability are two essential factors at which the construction industry, as well as research, politics and environmental associations, have demonstrated a keen interest.