Concrete is one of the most ubiquitous and versatile building materials. Since at least Roman times, concrete has been an important construction material. Applications for concrete include road surfaces, dams and buildings; concrete is a big part of the landscapes around us. Here are 10 impressive concrete structures.
An icon of American architecture, the Pentagon required 410,000 cubic yards of concrete for its construction. This unique, five-sided building was constructed in the 1940s.
The Unité d’Habitation in Marseille, France, was completed in 1952. This huge apartment building reflects post-war optimism about the ability to merge collective and individual aspirations. Its use of bare concrete was an important signal of the founding of Brutalism.
Christ The Redeemer
Brazil’s famous statue of Christ the Redeemer is one of the greatest examples of concrete being used in sculpture. Finished in 1931, its reinforced concrete structure is the largest Art Deco style sculpture in the world, and famously stands above the megacity of Rio de Janeiro.
Grande Dixence Dam
Located in Switzerland, this is the largest gravity dam in the world. Its construction used 212 million cubic feet of concrete, and it provides enough power for 400,000 households.
Construction workers at the Wilshire Grand in Los Angeles broke the world record for the largest concrete pour in 2014. The project took 18 hours.
The Roman Pantheon is one of the best examples of Roman architecture. Its dome is one of its most remarkable features. At about 2,000 years old, it is still the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world.
The Panama Canal
The Panama Canal is one of the most important man-made concrete structures in history. It revolutionized commerce by dramatically cutting the times required for shipping goods around the world.
The Eberswalde Technical School Library
This building, constructed between 1997 and 1999 in Germany, utilized new techniques to decorate the concrete used in the building. Images were printed onto it, as well as onto glass. Innovation at such a late date in the history of using concrete is remarkable.
The Hoover Dam
It took 4,360,000 cubic yards of concrete to construct the Hoover Dam. This dam created Lake Mead and generates electricity. When it was completed in 1935, it was the largest dam in the world.
This bridge crosses Lake Ponchartrain in Louisiana and spans 24 miles. It can be frightening for some people to cross as at the midpoint no land can be seen on either side. The bridge required thousands of concrete pilings for construction.
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