Produced at a rate of ﬁve billion cubic yards per year, concrete is the second most widely consumed substance on earth, after water. It is ubiquitous and easily taken for granted as the stuff of sidewalks and roads, power plants and parking garages. Concrete is also, however, a favored material of cutting-edge architects and engineers, who value not only its versatility and strength but its unlimited potential for imaginative expression. A hybrid substance made from cement, water, sand, and mineral aggregates, concreteor liquid stonehas no intrinsic form. In the hands of talented designers, its ultimate appearance is dictated by the framework into which it is poured and the color, texture, or pattern applied to its surface.
In a series of essays by top architects, engineers, and scholars, Liquid Stone explores the nature of concrete, its past and future, from technical, artistic, and historical perspectives. Over thirty buildings by leading international architects including Jean Nouvel, Herzog & de Meuron, Zaha Hadid, Steven Holl, Norman Foster, and Santiago Calatrava are presented through detailed descriptions, photographs, and technical drawings.
The book concludes with "The Future of Concrete," a chapter on newly emerging materials. Here self-consolidated, ultra-high-performance, and translucent concrete are illustrated, introducing the next generation in concrete technology and suggesting new directions for both architecture and engineering.