BHX MOD SOC MAP_ Glossary : Reinforced Concrete

Reinforced concrete:

“Reinforced concrete is an artificial  monolithic materials, derived from the union of steel and concrete, when the latter hardens after the mix has been poured in a fluid state into specially prepared shuttering.”

Rough unfinished surfaces are one of the key features of brutalist architecture, therefore reinforced concrete can be seen in most brutalist forms. The use of concrete in general can produce a wide range of appealing, even delicate forms. The mind map below highlights some of the key features and terms associated with ‘reinforced concrete’.

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An example of reinforced concrete in brutalist architecture is evident in the – former- Central Library, Birmingham. Reinforced concrete was strongly expressed within the building, the external finishes and the structural elements. For the cladding  the architect offered the council a choice of Portland Stone or Travertine Marble to complement the adjacent buildings. A third, cheaper option was pre-cast concrete with Hoptonwood limestone and Derbyshire spar aggregate with white cement this was accepted by the council as an economy measure.

Central Library.jpg

Sarah Abuzeid

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