Book #4 Concrete Design by Sarah Gaventa

I was looking for other books about Concrete Crafting and this 2006 book “Concrete Design; the extraordinary nature of concrete” by Sarah Gaventa was suggested. It was in Reading Central Library and so I went and perused it there.

In the introduction the book traces the history of concrete crediting the development to the Romans, while indicating others had developed similar substances. the introduction also looks at iconic concrete builds ranging from Rome’s Parthenon to London Zoo’s Penguin Pool.

The body of the book looks at the work of leading designers and architects in the domestic context. Many of the examples are large, such as spiral staircases, walls, floors and concrete furniture. But there are also smaller examples, such as Kelvin Birk’s concrete bowls with silver liner and Kathy Dalwood’s planters. For me the most memorable picture is Ron Arad’s Concrete Record Deck, I have found a link to his complete stereo on the V&A site, if you want to see what I am talking about!

Before reading this book the only architect I could name who worked with concrete was Cesar Manrique, and that was because I have visited Lanzarote where he was very influential. I felt it a shame he was missed from the book, but then maybe his sphere of influence was limited.

If you are interested in concrete and design this is an excellent book to look through. If you are looking for it in Reading Central Library it is on the first floor under Architecture, not the second floor under Fine Art as the catalogue suggests.

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