””Only the most adventurous architects have taken on concrete as their material of choice. When they do, however, their creations demand attention through their stunning mix of texture, color, and shape. Since wet concrete starts as a fluid material, these architects can shape it into nearly any form to bring their visions to life. An exploration of these influential architects, and the history of concrete, reveals the power of concrete as a strong yet beautiful building material.
Le Corbusier: Creator of Brutalism
In the early 1900s, Le Corbusier created the architectural style of Brutalism through the use of concrete in his urban planning projects. Brutalism highlights the beauty of the raw concrete materials by allowing the surfaces to remain unfinished without polish, stencils, or stamping. The effect is a strong structure that has a gorgeous appeal due to its textural aesthetic. The Anatole Schwob House, a villa in La-Chaux-De-Fonds built from reinforced concrete and bricks, remains one of Le Corbusier’s greatest works.
Peter Eisenman: Stark Memorial Visionary
Peter Eisenman earned his way into books about the history of concrete through his creation of the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. He harnessed the energy of concrete to create 2,711 gigantic stone slabs that represent the loss of Jewish individuals and families during the Holocaust. The slabs cover a 204,440 plot of land that gives visitors time to reflect on the losses and the meaning behind the array of concrete blocks.
Tadao Ando: Prolific Urban Designer
The self-taught visionary, Tadao Ando, embraced concrete as his material of choice due to its fluidity and simplicity. He works empty space into his urban development creations by balancing those areas with strong concrete forms. He is so adept at working with concrete that he can make his creations seem weightless and fluid. Ando regularly utilizes his design techniques to create iconic churches and museums, including the Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas.
Peter Zumthor: Architect Extraordinaire
Peter Zumthor takes natural materials from the landscape and integrates them into his designs by pairing them with concrete forms. He creates all of his buildings to be experienced in person, so he does not often publish his works in books or videos. His creations are meant to invoke emotions and thoughts that cannot be shared indirectly. Despite concrete’s stark, gray nature, he expertly crafts his buildings to evoke warmth through the flow of shape and texture. His most iconic architectural works center around his studio in Haldenstein and the city of Chur in Switzerland.
Bringing Your Own Architectural Visions to Life with Concrete
As concrete remains a strong material that resists weathering, you can visit many of the structures created by these iconic architects. If you want to try your hand at concrete architecture, partner with our team at Razorback Concrete in Arkansas. Contact us by calling (870) 455-0700, and you will receive complete support from our skilled team of concrete experts to make your design dreams a reality today.