Art: New World of Shells

Until recently, there seemed no end to the relentless parade of slick slabs marching in monotonous array down the Main Streets of U.S. cities. But now there is slow-gathering revolt against the tyranny of the grid with its curtain wall, which can make an office building look like a library, a courthouse like a morgue. Turning to engineering for a new excitement, architects are trying their hands at long-span, wafer-thin concrete shells. As more and more unfamiliar shells set their concrete sails to the wind, they may well provide 20th century architecture with the focal points that it has long needed...

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