From contributing to the building of monumental museums to mountainside escapes, concrete mixers are not only humble and durable, but they also deliver solid performance. When the words ‘concrete mixers’ come to mind they are usually associated with practical elements and not the surprisingly beautiful and diverse architectural results that concrete can produce.
Regardless if it is used for more private structures such as the home of David Chipperfiled’s in Berlin, or a city made entirely of concrete like Pierre Jeanneret’s Chandigarh and Le Corbusier in India, concrete is a versatile building material to be reckoned with. This fairly common material used in construction, which can be formed and moulded into any desired shape, allows structures to exist in stark geometric forms, as well as curvilinear forms.
If you travel around the world you will discover some of the most beautiful and extraordinary buildings made from concrete. Keep reading, to discover the top 20 of the world’s most stunning masterpieces made with concrete and concrete mixers.
20 Incredible Concrete Structures Around The World
Concrete is a versatile building material that has contributed to the creation of dozens of magnificent architectural wonders. Below is a quick list of the top 20 incredible concrete structures to be found across the globe, from unique office blocks and apartments to ingenious museums, concrete has contributed to these amazing feats of architectural genius.
The National Museum of Brazil
Brazilian modernist architect, Oscar Niemeyer, uses reinforced concrete to create arches and swoops which, in itself, is a testament to concrete’s sculptural quality. Niemeyer designed the National Museum of Brazil to resemble a planet which has been embedded in the ground, and the other half of the building was created by a reflection of an opposite pool.
The Villa Saitan is a local firm enclosed in a concrete shell with rippling cutouts that were designed to resemble the trunk, leaves, and roots of a tree. Truly a magnificent piece of architecture to behold, this building would not be possible without the versatility of concrete as a building material.
Paul Rudolph Hall
An example of concrete being used in brutalist architecture, which was popularised during the 1950s to the 1970s. This form of architecture can be found when viewing Yale university’s Paul Rudolph Hall. It was completed by an American architect in 1963. It appears as a block-like structure with a hammered exterior containing 37 levels spread across 9 floors.
In 2012, Felipe Escudero, constructed a trefoil-shaped reinforced-concrete Clover House in Ecuador, specifically created for the Andes Mountains. Within the structure each “leaf” has a large window which frames a segment of the landscape similar to a picture, this enables maximum amounts of sunlight to enter the house.
The Jubilee church was designed by architect Ricard Meier, outside of Rome. It was part of Pope John Paull II’s 1993 initiative to begin the reinvigorating parish enterprise in Rome. This structure consists of three concrete sails, shaped like half a circle, which are supported by a square spine. Light can flow into the building at various degrees, as the windows are nestled between each of the slabs.
The use of concrete mixers can also be seen when viewing the Science Hill museum, in Japan. It was built in 2013 by Mari Ito, of the Tokyo-based Urban Architecture Office. The structure was created with a wavy concrete roof which allows the building to integrate with the land. The Science Hill museum also doubles as a park as well.
Shanghai’s Long Museum
In 2014, the city of Atelier Deshaus completed Shangai’s Long Museum, which was originally built around a 1950s parking garage and bridge. Its extruded form includes enormous cast-in-place concrete curves which include transparent metal walls.
Santiago Calatrava’s Auditorium in Santa Cruz de Tenerife
The Santiago Calatrava’s auditorium found in the Canary Islands is seen as a striking figure which cuts into the Atlantic Ocean. In 2003, a Spanish architect completed this structure. Inside one can find a space used for performances, which is enclosed by forms of abstract concrete.
The Salk Institute
Louis Kahn designed a monumental research centre in 1965, called The Salk Institute. This building overlooks the Pacific Ocean in La Jolla, as it is perched on top of a bluff, in California which creates a symphony of shadow and geometry. Concrete mixers were chosen by Kahn due to the material’s low maintenance and durability. The Salk Institute consists of two identical six-story buildings that flak a courtyard of imported travertine.
David Chipperfiled’s Berlin home and studio
David Chipperfiled’s home and studio were enlarged last year; they embody the British architect’s signature spare minimalism amongst the 19th-century buildings within the neighbourhood. Previously the home and studio were a five-story brick piano factory, originally built in 1895.
David expanded this factory building and created extra space to include four concrete volumes. Inside his home the walls are left unfinished, creating a rough-hewn effect; the windows have been deliberately offset which lends variety to the interiors.
In 2010, Washington, The Pierre was completed as an Olson Kundig project. This project was inspired by a client’s fondness for an imposing stone deposit which was found on her property. The home was conceived as a hideaway amongst the crag; architects cut away parts of the rock, which was crushed and turned into concrete. This concrete can be found in other parts of the house as well.
Diego Portales University
Duque Motta, AA, and Rafael Hevia are Chilean architects who created two buildings at Chile’s new Diego Portales University campus. They sought to construct a design which stood apart from all the other glass-box structures which surround the area. They decided to incorporate green space, including gardens, living walls, and parks – into the fortified concrete structure.
This utopian city was created by Le Corbusier along with Pierre Jeanneret in 1947, during post-independence India, it was constructed predominantly out of concrete. Within the Palais de L’Assemblee, positioned on a reflecting pool, this sculptural form swoops at the entrance creating contrasts with the building’s linear columns across.
Gus Wustemann’s Stone H Apartment
Gus’s apartment building in Zurich has been made out of a concrete block shaped in the form of an H. the exterior of the concrete building was cast using wooden moulds for an organic, rough-hewn look, whilst the interior walls and floors with the same material were rendered in a smooth and sleek finish.
The Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi built the three towers which make up the SESC Pompéia in São Paulo, in 1986. This building houses an enormous indoor sports complex, which includes soccer fields and a pool. A series of irregular bridges are used to link the two structures together.
Cidade das Artes
An award-winning French architect, Christian de Portzamparc, completed the Cidade das Artes in 2013, in Rio de Janeiro. From the top of the terrace, you will be able to see not only the sea but the mountains as well. The curvilinear concrete walls pay homage to the mid-20th century Brazilian modernist architecture. The walls create an interplay between space and voluminous shape, which can be seen from a distance.
When in Marseille France, you can bear witness to one the most prominent Brutalist buildings globally. Le Corbusier’s Unite d’Habitation, was originally an architect intended for the slab-style tower, constructed in 1952, to serve as a house for individuals who were displaced during World War II. Including the original residents who currently live there. As we speak this building has 337 apartments, a hotel, a rooftop art program, and two shopping galleries.
Bank of London and South America
The Bank of London and South America (BLAS) has been dubbed one of the most unique and interesting concrete structures found around the world. When looking at the building from the outside, this structure appears to look similar to some type of colossal skeleton, which is rising from the ground. The skeletal look is further accentuated as the structure arches inwards from the bottom before it levels off halfway up, the structure resembles bent legs all around it.
The concrete mixers in this structure were moulded and constructed like this on purpose to create sufficient street space for pedestrians, whilst keeping its appearance to resemble the neighbouring buildings. A dynamic appearance is created by the outside concrete columns which are grouped and connected together by cross-beams. All this is done whilst the structure remains durable and strong enough to support the architectural design.
The Motherland Calls
In 1967, The Motherland Calls was recognized as the largest statue in the world during its unveiling. This statue was built to commemorate the Battle of Stalingrad. The complexity of The Motherland Calls is an impressive quality of the statue. Its distinguishing posture provides a sensation of movement and action not commonly seen in the majority of concrete statues; this dynamic effect was achieved through utilising prestressed concrete mixers and wire ropes.
The Motherland Calls currently is recognized as the tallest statue of a woman globally (this does not include pedestals), weighing approximately 7, 900 tonnes, making this a great example of what can be achieved when you integrate concrete mixers and excellent engineering.
This list would not be complete without mentioning one of the most breathtaking concrete structures in the world. Burj Khalifa is known as the tallest manmade structure in the world, at 2,717ft tall (828 metres). This structure was built using reinforced concrete mixers as it predominates building material. The creation of this structure began in 2004 and was completed five years later. The grand opening took place on the 4th of January 2012.
The foundation of the Burj Khalifa is over 45, 000 metres of concrete, whilst 330,000 cubic metres of concrete was used for the tower itself. This tower encompasses the record for the tallest vertical concrete building standing at 606 metres. The Khalifa Tower was constructed to impress, and from its construction to its design, everything about this tower is impressive and it is apparent for everyone to see.
About BS Power
If you are interested in constructing any type of structure using concrete mixers, BS Power has got your back. BS Power has all the highest quality concrete mixers and tools you will need for the construction of concrete structures, allowing you to mix on-site and ensuring effective construction. To begin your next concrete project, get in contact with the incredible and experienced team at BS Power today.