Cementing the Future

Architects are using stylish high-tech concrete to create beautiful--and greener--buildings


Ferrier designed the prototype for his Hypergreen skyscraper with ultra-high-performance concrete that can be up to 10 times as strong as the standard fare.

French Architect Jacques Ferrier is a big fan of concrete. He has used it extensively in his latest work, including his design of the French pavilion for the 2010 World's 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 friendliness. One of his concept projects is Hypergreen, a showcase tower with a curved, concrete lattice fa├žade, designed to generate enough energy to meet most of its own needs.

Yes, concrete. Not the cheap, gray, easily cracked soulless stuff that...

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