The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 10 (1923) > Issues > Issue 1 > The aesthetic aspect of concrete construction
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The aesthetic aspect of concrete construction

"Tell me not in mournful numbers, Houses are not what they seem, For the walls that look so solid, Once were poured from cans like cream." The conservative instinct in some of us tends to strengthen our prejudices. And a fondness for hand work and the qualities of familiar building materials make one shy of the mystical concoctions that are more or less mingled with brains. Concrete seems one such that depends on conscience. The man that mixes the material must exercise his conscience, and who can measure the amount or tell its value? A brick seems more frankly to proclaim its qualities, and as with stone and timber, we know from past experience all that it can do for us. But concrete is an unknown quantity to many of us, except perhaps when used in its simplest form, as for foundations. Another element of my prejudice is due to the recollection that greed is gratified by the use of concrete construction. That is to say, the shopkeeper who is out to make money wants to seize every inch of space. He thinks the display of his wares is better for him the more vast it is. Beauty has no charm for him and quantity is of more value than quality. The shopkeeper little realises how the mind and memory are debauched by vast crowds of articles jostling each other for attention. When a myriad of objects all shout at once, "look at me!" we can carry away no! lasting memory of anything but chaos. Concrete construction has helped in this direction. Meanness and greed I say are its parents. What can be expected from such an ancestry? C. F. A. Voysey