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26

concrete

ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN

Capital concrete

Concrete as amaterial of the industrial age has a longer history than commonly

supposed, butmatured as a purely structural medium. Not until after the GreatWar

was its true architectural potential – as ameans of sculpting volume, mass and form

– recognised. This coincidedwith the rise of Modernismand both arrived on Britain’s

shores fromthe continent. Three projects in London spanning a hundred years of

concrete illustrate its development fromthis point and perhaps signpost its future.

Chris Rogers

, author of a newbook

How to read London

, reports.

Visitors in the Lawrence Hall at the RHS London

Early Spring Plant Fair.

(Photo:RHS/Julian Weigall.)