Building Materials: Cementing the Future

French architect Jacques Ferrier is a big fan of concrete. He has used it extensively in his latest work, including the French pavilion he has designed for the 2010 World Fair in Shanghai, and believes it has strong aesthetic appeal. "It has a sensuality," he enthuses. "It evokes images of white minerality." Most of all, Ferrier praises concrete for its environmental properties. One of his concept projects is Hypergreen, a showcase tower with a curved concrete lattice façade, designed to generate enough energy to meet most of its own needs.

Yes, concrete. Not the cheap, gray, easily cracked,...

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