concrete

On concrete looking like wooden boards, or planks.

Those were shot inside the Kulturhuest building in Järna. This next picture, from a school, is quite dull, but notice how the concrete ‘planks’ are painted in rainbow colours:

Last but not least, a photo from the Goetheanum — though this one’s not mine, and I’m sorry I don’t know where I got it, except that I downloaded it online several years ago. It’s from one of my folders with old Goetheanum photos. I think it’s taken sometime just after the building work was finished or was still in the process of being finished, which would be the 1920s. But I’m far from sure about it. It could be slightly more recent, though it definitely isn’t from the last decades.

I don’t know, I have to admit, if this ‘plank’-like design in concrete is typical of anthroposophical buildings. Do you ever see it elsewhere? I’ve been thinking, and I can’t say. Probably not on interior walls and ceilings anyway? It looks ‘normal’ to me, but come to think of it, I can’t remember seeing it in many — if any — other types of buildings. On the other hand, this may be because my memory is failing me. But usually, don’t people (in general) plaster the walls? Or put up wooden boards that they paint on? And are concrete walls, if they are left ‘raw’, not usually of the flat, non-‘plank’ design variety? I love raw concrete, though I prefer it if it isn’t painted pink or in rainbow colours… (Thank Dog, black and white photos solve the problem neatly…)

10 thoughts on “concrete

  1. Vet inte hur det är inomhus i byggnader, men det är väl rätt vanligt på broar, i gångtunnlar och andra liknande konstruktioner.

  2. Jag måste passa på att kolla efter detta när jag går förbi lämpliga objekt. Designen känns ju så bekant, men samtidigt som något som inte går att ‘placera’ mentalt. Gångtunnelsinterörer och liknande tenderar ju att passera i medvetandets periferi…

  3. There are some hideous concrete buildings – the South Bank complex is a gulag with icy winds whisking theatre-goers down soul-less corridors & practically into the Thames. This is much pleasanter concrete. The idea of a Goetheanum on the Embankment might cut it with the Heir to the Gnome.

  4. At the South Bank Arts Centre, in London, which Thetis refers to above, this technique is used extensively. The buildings were constructed in the 1960’s.

    ‘On concrete looking like wooden boards, or planks’
    I suspect the architects would not like anyone to think they were making anything to ‘look like wood’. That would be a phoney thing to do, plus the forms created by poured concrete could not easily be produced in wood anyway. I guess architects who work in this way are saying, “Look, wood was used to create these beautiful forms. We like the surface that was left when the planks were removed so we have left it for you to enjoy”. (Of course you may think it is horrible but architects are a strange breed)
    I guess this technique isn’t used so much in Sweden because you already have so many beautiful wooden buildings. Some towns seem to have nothing else.
    I remember the architecture school near Engelbrektskyrka is a raw concrete structure. I can’t remember if the imprint of the shutter boards was left visible or not. The formers don’t have to be made from planks.

  5. One day you should put on a disguise, Alicia, maybe heavy sunglasses, a wig and a big hat*, and go into the theatre at the Kulturhus in Jarna. The concrete walls are beautifully finished and the theatre has red green and blue etched glass windows. Everything throws a threefold shadow, and even though the hall is well lit it is very difficult to identify the exact hue of the walls.It seems to change every time you move. It is extra special.
    *Maybe Mr dog could wear a pink dog coat and a diamond collar and pretend to be a chihuahua.

  6. falk – I’ve never noticed it looking like wood! (the South Bank) Either it has failed in its mission or has somehow been eroded. The area has had a face-lift in the last few years so it isn’t as unspeakable as it once was, and there was a fake lawn one year – imagine. But the whole place is more Pinter than Chekhov.

  7. ‘One day you should put on a disguise, Alicia, maybe heavy sunglasses, a wig and a big hat*,’

    you should do this anyway.

    ‘*Maybe Mr dog could wear a pink dog coat and a diamond collar and pretend to be a chihuahua.’

    Oh falk. You are toying with your life here.

  8. ‘The idea of a Goetheanum on the Embankment might cut it with the Heir to the Gnome.’

    Ah yes he would. At least with slight modifications to make it looke more like a cross-breed between a castle and a gnome hut.

    ‘I remember the architecture school near Engelbrektskyrka is a raw concrete structure. I can’t remember if the imprint of the shutter boards was left visible or not. The formers don’t have to be made from planks.’

    I don’t know either, but I don’t think there are plank shapes.

    ‘One day you should put on a disguise, Alicia, maybe heavy sunglasses, a wig and a big hat*, and go into the theatre at the Kulturhus in Jarna. The concrete walls are beautifully finished and the theatre has red green and blue etched glass windows. Everything throws a threefold shadow, and even though the hall is well lit it is very difficult to identify the exact hue of the walls.’

    I have to. With my camera. I love shadows, and I’m sure three-fold shadows can only be triple the joy!

    ‘Maybe Mr dog could wear a pink dog coat and a diamond collar and pretend to be a chihuahua.’

    I’ll tell him to walk on two legs and hold a little lecture. Everybody will think he really is Rudolf Steiner! ;-)

    ‘Soory, the walls are wood.’

    Ah, well, it could be nice too.

    ‘I’ve never noticed it looking like wood! (the South Bank)’

    The interior of the anthro building in Järna. I think.

    We have these awful windy places with gigantic modern (60s/70s) buildings — the spaces between and around them usually become awful and unpleasant to frequent.

    What I find kind of fascinating about Steiner’s buildings is the contrast between the material — the concrete and its rawness, its harshness — and the shapes; and the contrast between this choice of design (and material) and his aesthetic in other contexts. The fluffy soft pinkness and all that. Sort of. And then that gigantic concrete monster of a building!

    ‘you should do this anyway. ‘

    And a beard. No disguise is complete without a fake beard.

    The poor chihuahua looks terrified.

    I can reveal to you that mr Dog already has the proper chihuahua-style collars. He has a black leather one with crystals and a purple-pinkish (textile/leather) one in fancy chinese style. Both are french. Not used every day, because I’m too lazy and prefer collars you can put over head, like these (his is fancier though) http://www.alac.se/jpg/fyrkanthalvstryp.jpg

  9. ‘I remember the architecture school near Engelbrektskyrka is a raw concrete structure.’

    http://www.thelocal.se/33568/20110504/

    Sadly, this building is on fire today. (Some people are elated, they think it’s ugly. It’s not pretty, but it isn’t the ugliest building in town either. It is, at least, special.)

    Mr Dog woke me up howling like a mad dog early this morning, around 7.10-7.20. There were lots of fire trucks. Living one and a half block away from the fire station is a good thing in case of fire. Not such a good think when you live with a dog who howls at fire trucks.

    Have listened to helicopters hoovering much of the day.

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