AAJ Press
Architecture & Design, New Books

Book Review: Pina Petricone (editor) — Concrete Ideas – Material to Shape a City

Pina Petricone (editor): Concrete Ideas: Material to Shape a City

This is an excellent package – a boxed hardback with the highest quality design and print. It is what an architecture book should be – as attentive to the aesthetics of reading as to the novelty of its analytical content. The subject may not seem exciting, but concrete is central to the development of modern architectural design, and with new nanotechnology, for example, is doing extraordinary things. This book is a compendium of new research on concrete, and new applications – majoring on the detail, content, composition and combinations of materials. This is an architects’ – not coffee-table – book. At the same time, it’s accessible and is comprised of a range of fascinating a well designed photo-graphic illustrations. Given the low status of concrete as an urban feature, along with its association with cheap fast, post-war construction, the material is in need of an apologetic. This book goes a long way in revealing both concrete’s new qualities (profiling a range of new tradmarked innovations, from Creacrete to LiTraCon) as well as new design uses, continuing to generate one of the most versatile materials that has ever existed. The book is not just another edited collection, but emerged from group research and design innovation, from the editor’s home institution of University of Toronto to London and further afield, with examples from buildings around the world.

Boxed hardback: 25.40 x 17.80 cm; 248pp: Illustrated in colour and black and white throughout.
First publication 2012.
Thames & Hudson. ISBN 9780500342817


About Jonathan Vickery

I research the politics of contemporary culture, the role of culture in the public sphere, and cultural economy discourse in International Development. I also work as an art critic, editor and public speaker.


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