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The Art of Precast Concrete

Colour, Texture, Expression

The Art of Precast Concrete by David Bennett
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The Brutalist period that followed the Modern Movement era, where cast in place concrete was used to excess, led to decades of mistrust and rejection of its architectural merit as the rust stained, grey-black, pock marked surfaces were laid bare for all to witness. Precast concrete up to that time was largely specified for making reconstructed stone panels, paving slabs and decorative features. Now it was used as the replacement for cast in place concrete in many European countries, ensuring the integrity of surface appearance with off-site manufacture. Precast concrete’s popularity grew, the product range increased and many new precast companies started up. Colour, surface texture, light and shade profiling and bas relief effects plus plasticity of form and large panel construction gave architects a design freedom that was not possible with cast in place concrete. Better material understanding, researches into surface durability, improved standards of manufacture and production continues to position precast concrete as the premier product for surface appearance in Northern Europe but it comes with a warning. It can be prohibitively expensive in some countries and is not always a popular choice.
Birkhäuser Basel; Read online
Title: The Art of Precast Concrete
Author: David Bennett
 

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