Author(s): Leonard Koren and William Hall
Concrete takes a fresh look at the world's most versatile and abundant building material. Collating fascinating and beautiful concrete buildings by some of the most celebrated architects of the last century, it features familiar projects from Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright alongside work from some of the leading lights of contemporary architecture including Zaha Hadid, Herzog & de Meuron, and many lesser-known newcomers. Arranged to promote comparison and discussion, the selected projects take the reader on a global tour of inspiring and intriguing structures: a German skatepark sits beside an Italian rooftop test track, a Japanese crematorium alongside a Portuguese swimming pool and a Brazilian government building next to a Chinese opera house. Illustrated with extraordinary photographs, each project includes an extended caption providing a commentary on the building. An essay by Leonard Koren, author of the best-selling Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers, offers an evocative and perceptive view of concrete through the author's experience of studying architecture in California and living in Tokyo. Concrete is a beautiful and informative visual exploration of a material often considered dull and cold but actually full of spectacular potential.
"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
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.