The Rise and Fall of The Thin Concrete Shell

TANG, Gabriel (2012). The Rise and Fall of The Thin Concrete Shell. In: ORR, John, EVERNDEN, Mark, ANTONY, Darby and IBELL, Tim, (eds.) Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Flexible Formwork. University of Bath, 324-333.

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Concrete was a popular material choice that stretched the imagination of building designers over past decades. This material that imbued notions of plasticity and flow, sets innovative ideals soaring with hope in the postwar landscape, seen as the material of the future. This paper seeks to perspectivise the phenomenonal rise of the material in the application of shell construction using key case studies of built examples from Nervi, Candela and Isler. It also aims to chart the subsequent demise of its application in thin shell design. By understanding the reasons to what led to its demise, designers will be able to erect concrete shells more sustainably, by modifications to the design process, construction stages and thoughtful consideration to formwork implementation to meet the demands of the 21st century and beyond. This paper discusses the possibilities of concrete as a material of choice and by asking the question to what constituted its popularity and what led to its demise in this age of new technological advances, construction processes and environmental concerns. This paper will present a cultural perspective of the material and the important relationship between concrete with its formwork to bring about a new renaissance to the reappearance of such structures in our built environment once again.

Item Type: Book Section
Page Range: 324-333
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 20 May 2020 15:16
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 01:37

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