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ǘǰ ǻǹǺȀ


How to read London: A crash course in

London architecture

Following in the footsteps of

How to read



How to read Paris

, this book is

a ‘pocket-sized guide to understanding the

unique architectural heritage of London’.

Divided by architectural styles and arranged

into chronological order, over 100 buildings and

structures are concisely described and illustrated.

It begins withWestminster Abbey, which dates

from the 13th Century, and finishes with Saw

Swee Hock Student Centre, a Concrete Society

Award winner in 2014. Zaha Hadid and Denys

Lasdun are among the prominent architects

listed; four of Lasdun’s buildings are featured, the

Brutalism of the National Theatre described as

‘uncompromising’. Only one of Hadid’s creations,

her Aquatics Centre for the 2012 London

Olympics, has been chosen, but the entry pays

tribute to concrete’s plasticity and ‘unique nature’.

Ernö Goldfinger’s concrete-framed block on 45–

46 Albemarle Street and the ‘radical’ Alexandra

& Ainsworth Estate from Neave Brown are also

discussed. The reader is assisted by a location map

for each chapter and a short glossary.

IVY PRESS, 2017, 256 PAGES

Contact The Concrete Society for more details:

Tel: 01276 607140 or e-mail:


Members’ library at

The Concrete Society

SarahGerrardand EdwinTrout reviewthe library’s latest additions and look into

The Society’s extensivearchive collection.



Concrete at PurdueUniversity

Purdue University at Lafayette, Indiana – one

of America’s long-established universities – has

a close association with the study of concrete,

no more so than in the person of Professor WK

Hatt (born 1868). Having taught at both New

Brunswick and Cornell, Hatt was appointed

Professor of Civil Engineering at Purdue and

director of the materials testing laboratory.

There, in the first decade of the 20th Century,

he took an interest in the emergence of

reinforced concrete.

In his paper ‘Concrete tables and tanks for a

laboratory’, he described equipment specially

designed for Purdue’s new laboratory, a theme

developed in his first book,

Laboratory manual

of testing materials

(1913), which claimed to

be the “outcome of the operation, through 18

years, of the Laboratory for Testing Materials”.

His pioneering concrete research was

recognised in his election as president of the

ACI for the years 1917–1919, as only the third in

the Institute’s history. In 1921, he collaborated

with Walter Voss on

Concrete work,


a year later by

Answers to concrete work.

His subsequent titles on concrete were

university publications.

Researches in concrete

appeared as Bulletin No. 24, Engineering

Experiment Station (1925), and

Physical and

mechanical properties of Portland cements

and concretes

in 1928. Work at Purdue and

elsewhere was summarised for the World

Engineering Congress in Tokyo, 1929; ‘Some

recent researches in fundamental properties

of concrete in the United States of America’

described investigations into creep, volume

change and the effects of moisture on fatigue.

Less directly associated with concrete

was Hatt’s contemporary, Frank Gilbreth

(1868–1924), a specialist in industrial efficiency


Concrete system

was published in 1908.

Gilbreth went on to become an occasional

lecturer at Purdue University.

After the First World War, Harrison Howe

(1881–1942) was appointed chairman of the

division of research extension of the National

Research Council. While at the NRC, Howe

wrote an influential mass-market book about

the impact of the concrete industry on society.

The New Stone Age

whose title was adopted

for a promotional film, was well received,


New YorkTimes

reporting that Howe “tells the

romantic story of cement and concrete – tells

it with scientific accuracy and fullness, but

without the verbal encumbrances which make

so much scholarly writing seem detached from

all connection with everyday life”. Howe later

became a member of the Purdue Research



Having taught at Illinois for a year, the young

SC Hollister (1891–1982) took up a position

at the Corrugated Bar Company to compile

a handbook,

Useful Data.

He was then

appointed, at the age of only 26, as chief

designer at the Concrete Ship Section, US

Shipping Board. After the war, Hollister turned

to private consultancy and contributed to

Hool and Johnson’s

Concrete engineers’


(1918). He specialised in reinforced

concrete design and in 1929 received the first

ever Wason Research Medal. In 1930, he took

up a post at Purdue University, while serving

as president of the ACI. Four years later he

moved to Cornell and in 1937 was appointed

Dean of the College of Engineering. In later

life, as the ‘grand old man’ of American

concrete, Hollister was awarded honorary

memberships by six professional societies

and honorary doctorates from, among others,

Purdue University.

As well as many of the above, The Concrete

Society’s library holds an extensive run of

research reports from Purdue, on concrete’s

use in highways.

Above: WK Hatt.