Book offers fresh look at world’s most abundant material

‘Concrete’ is the latest addition to Phaidon’s architecture series, which says it is a “celebration of the world’s “most versa- tile and abundant building material.”

Through a selection of concrete struc- tures, this book highlights the beauty of the material. Author William Hall explores the material’s “sheer endurance and unexpected delicacy”, urging readers to “reconsider concrete’s momentous contribution to architecture”. With what is claimed to be “extraordinary and insightful content” from the original edition, ‘Concrete’ is a key read for fans of the material and designers generally.

Including fascinating and beautiful buildings by some of the most celebrated architects of the last century, the book features familiar works by Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright alongside projects from some of the leading lights of contemporary architecture, including Zaha Hadid and Herzog & de Meuron, and many lesser-known newcomers. Carefully curated to encourage comparison and discussion, the projects take the reader on “a global tour of inspiring and intriguing structures”.

Featuring some stunning photography, the book groups projects thematically by chapter; these include Form, Texture, Light and Mass. Each entry is accompanied by key information alongside engaging extended captions, which provide insightful commentary. This wide-ranging survey of concrete buildings also features an essay by Leonard Koren, author of the best-selling ‘Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers’, which offers an evocative and perceptive view of concrete from his experience of studying architecture in California and living in Tokyo.