Concrete Approximations: In Pursuit of Absolute Space

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Concrete is ubiquitous but contentious: culturally, environmentally, and often politically. Yet, the architecture it produces across fields of practice remains pertinent to the architectural discipline and its history. Having been incessantly normalized, misused, and abused by different stakeholders and agendas, some of its material attributes still remain very much untapped until now.

Liquid Pressure, one of concrete’s most vigorous properties, is always short-lived and can hardly be contained. Only its counterpart, known as formwork or false work in the building industry, is best at influencing and redirecting the course of its active forces.

Concrete and formwork are both the live catalyst and dichotomy explored in this book, through which new forms of spatial organizations are once more made possible. To experiment with concrete is to actively engage with its live properties, in an irreversible dance in which the concrete reacts to the formwork’s materials. In this book, two key projects are laid bare, manifesting a shift in the work from an early preoccupation with material responsiveness to one that additionally addresses concepts of spatiality and its relation to the proposed idea of augmented materiality.
by Olivier Ottevaere
Publisher: Applied Research & Design (November 7, 2023)
Paperback: 184 pages

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