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Concrete Hardcover – 3 Sep 2012


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press (3 Sept. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714863548
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714863542
  • Product Dimensions: 26 x 3.5 x 29.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 41,335 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

“a fresh look at […] the world’s most versatile and abundant building material … urges us to reconsider its merits and its contribution to architecture… a global tour of inspiring and intriguing structures”
Self Build & Design

“concrete has acquired a reputation as a cheap and bland building material. This book sets the record straight, putting forward 100 years’ worth of elegant, exciting and at times poetic architectural masterpieces”
David Nicholls, Daily Telegraph

“superbly illustrated .. many of the world's best architectural photographers who have caught the play of light and shade, the elemental shapes, the smooth or artfully roughened surfaces to suggest an architecture of pristine, lasting beauty”
Marcus Binney, The Times

"The sweeping survey of buildings featured in Concrete illustrates the material's chameleonlike versatility, from the Pantheon's coffered dome to Le Corbusier's Villa Savoye."
ELLE Decor

"Yes, concrete can be cold and imposing - but as the 175 structures in [Concrete] attest, it can also be colorful, playful, and delicate."
The Wall Street Journal

"The book is a vivid reminder of the sheer endurance, unexpected delicacy, and humor of architecture's humble hero."
Architectural Digest

About the Author

William Hall trained at Central Saint Martins and began his career in the office of the minimalist architect John Pawson. Formerly a Design Director at Phaidon Press, Hall now runs his own design practice in London, working with clients such as Calvin Klein, Henry Moore Institute and Tate.

Leonard Koren has written and designed a number of books including Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers. In 1976, two years after studying architecture at UCLA, he founded WET, one of the premier avant-garde publications of the 1970s. He now consults on the subject of design, aesthetics, and communications. He lives in San Francisco.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By emma who reads a lot TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 17 Oct. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Phaidon Press are known for elegant and distinctive art and architecture books but this one is good even by its own high standards. The book has a simple premise - rather than acres of text, it assembles a single gorgeous image of each of 150 or so buildings and constructions - given at least a page or many even big double page spreads - each with a clear, concise caption. (In fact the only extensive text occurs in the author's introduction and the accompanying essay by Wabi-Sabi author Leonard Koren, both of which exhort the reader to rethink concrete as a material of beauty rather than stark utility.)

The sense of luxury as you turn the pages is palpable - the paper is beautiful, the images are beautiful. Even the cover is beautiful, with an amazing printed-in effect of the wooden mould-made lines in in-situ-cast concrete. And the juxtapositions made by the book's designer are in many cases completely stunning: Westminster Jubilee line station opposite an amazing Japanese print centre that looks almost like an oil rig high above the city; Canary Wharf Jubilee line station opposite Auguste Perret's intense, meditatory concrete church. The real joy of the book is discovering many unusual buildings. Of course the usual suspects are here too - South Bank, Fallingwater, the Pantheon, Trellick Tower, Guggenheim, Villa Savoye, Sydney Opera House. (Though I'm not totally sure that whole building is concrete.) But the most fun are the ones I've never heard of before - Rem Koolhass's "Casa da Musica", Louis Kahn's Bangladesh Parliament, Max Berg's Breslau Centennial Hall: all stunning unforgettable constructions now that I know them.

Cooling towers, train stations, fire stations, flak towers, dams, housing estates, oh yes, of course.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Zachary Goode on 19 Oct. 2012
Format: Hardcover
I found this book really inspiring. The range of works is huge, but the quality is very high and totally consistent. It's incredible what can be created from the same source material - it has definitely changed my notion of concrete.

You don't get to understand the 180 buildings shown - you only get one picture and a long caption for each one - and you don't get much detail on construction or concrete composition or anything like that, but the introduction and short text are thought provoking and comprehensible to someone like me with no architectural training.

It's a really handsome and finely produced book with beautiful images, so makes a good present for a creative person.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Richard Piggot on 5 Mar. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book shows some of the exceptional and amazing constructions using concrete. Any lovers of modern architecture will really enjoy looking and re-looking at this excellent collection of buildings and structures. Great photo's and top info too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alex P on 11 Mar. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read a review about this book months ago and thought it would make a good present for my husband - It was difficult to find in Waterstones so I searched on Amazon and found it easily. It's really beautiful and interesting - the perfect book for lovers of concrete - like the French!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By kaz doyle on 31 Jan. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this for my son who is studying architecture at uni. he said it may come in handy but there are not as many factual tequnical pieces of information as he would have liked.Inspiring buildings from arounfNice coffee table book, its masive and very heavy,like concrete I guess!
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