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The reemergence in the early eighteenth century of the technology and use of concrete provide the starting point for this first volume of the Treatise on Concrete. In this book are described and analyzed, for the first time, the various contributions that led to the rediscovery of concrete made by the specialists of the period, from chemists to volcanologists; from engineers to architects and construction workers; from inventors to archaeologists and even men of letters. The book traces the various criteria for concrete production using local materials, from hydraulic lime to pozzolana and trass, as well as how the technique of casting concrete in formwork developed from construction-site practices that had survived locally from the times of ancient Rome. The subjects of the book include the transport of Roman pozzolana with which Italian, French, English or Danish engineers built grandiose offshore concrete structures; the genealogy of techniques for manufacturing wood formwork for foundations at sea, in rivers and above ground; the description of the various formwork systems invented to pour concrete in water; the research conducted by chemists on lime and pozzolana that led to the development of concrete; the invention of artificial stone, obtained using various types of cement; and the series of fantastic archaeological findings about the concrete structures of antiquity, which, even if sometimes baseless, nevertheless helped build confidence that this material could be invented. Finally, several great personalities in the history of architecture, such as Piranesi or Soufflot, are presented in a new light and are shown to be vital players in the affirmation of concrete in the eighteenth century. Thus emerges the first entry of a new history of concrete, one that will provide the essential principles needed to understand how the manufacturing methods discovered between the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century emerged and led to the production of this mythical material. This new history of concrete is clearly of present day interest, specifically in the context of recent research which aims to encourage concrete production using local materials, including volcanic constituents such as pozzolana – exactly as it was fabricated during the eighteenth century.


  • 1. Fantastic archaeology and artificial stones
  • The mystery of artificial stone in ancient Egypt
  • Artificial stone in contemporary primitive civilizations – The artificial pebble of Bazin and Geoffroy – The nature of the stones of Stonehenge – Artificial stone of Holt, Ripley, London and Langley – Venetian “terrazzo” and “scagliola”, or the artificial marble – “Cantoni di smalto”: in the footsteps of Galileo’s pupils
  • 2. Pozzolana, trass and lime for hydraulic construction Exportation of pozzolana from Civitavecchia – The first nonItalian pozzolanas and the discoveries of Labat – German “tuffstein” and Dutch “trass” – Powders for cement, from the “cendrée de Tournai” to seashell lime – Masonry prototypes for the levees of Venice, from Padua lime to Vicenza pozzolana – Seafront barriers in Flanders and the Netherlands – Cofferdams for the foundations of hydraulic works – Foundations of jetties and moles with coffers or caissons, from Civitavecchia to Genoa – Archaeological research of Fontana on the Roman concrete moles of the port of Anzio – Masonry and “encaissements” according to Gautier – Cements, coffers and foundations in the water: the recommendations of Bélidor – Local construction practices of walls made in molds – Dutch and German manuals, and the book of Redelijkheid – Chemical research on lime
  • 3. Major hydraulic works of the 1730s and 1740s
  • The ports of Leghorn and Viareggio and the report of Zendrini – Caisson and pozzolana masonry: works by Vanvitelli for the port of Ancona – The Westminster Bridge and the caisson of Labelye – From the caisson to the “murazzo a pozzolana”: Zendrini’s experiments for Venice – Poleni and pozzolana – Importation and trade of pozzolana in the Venetian Republic –Variations to save pozzolana in the Venetian “murazzi” – The concrete of Milet de Monville at Toulon and the pozzolana for the ports of Brest and Cartagena – Portable mold for pisé: the contribution of Delorme – Compounds for bitumen sealing, or “spalme-mastic”
  • 4. Apologia of Roman construction, from Soufflot to Piranesi to Winckelmann Research on pozzolana in Italy, from Nollet to Soufflot – Studies of Guettard on the pozzolana of Auvergne – Concrete and “architecture hydraulique” of Bélidor – Etheridge’s caissons and Barrow lime cement for the port of Ramsgate – Essex Bridge in Dublin, by Semple, and the concrete – The “murazzi” of Temanza: pozzolana and Istria stone in conflict – Pozzolana for construction along the Adriatic according to the methods of Zendrini or Vanvitelli – Magnificence of Roman construction, according to Piranesi – Roman nostalgia, from Adam to Clérisseau – Research of Delorme on the Roman aqueducts, or mobile mold – Observations of Winckelmann on the “a sacco” masonry
  • 5. Caissons and hydraulic mortars in the 1750s Foundations without pozzolana: evolution of the caisson, from Perronet to Tardif – Caissons, saw and hydraulic mortar for the bridge at Saumur – The hydraulic mortars of Smeaton for the Eddystone lighthouse – The worksite of the Blackfriars Bridge in London by Mylne
  • 6. Pozzolanas and new cement compounds, from Cronstedt to Loriot The nature of pozzolana according to Cronstedt – Discovery of the first artificial products – Journeys of naturalists to study pozzolana in Italy – Observations on Vicentine pozzolanas, from Arduino to Fortis – The edict of 1763 on the pozzolana trade at Civitavecchia – Cement and mold, according to Marsy – Quicklime, chippings, mold: Loriot and Roman cement – Mortar without “abuses,” from Patte to Baumé – Desmarest, D’Arcet and Soufflot, and the French pozzolanas – Hamilton’s collection of lavas from Vesuvius –Wark’s cement patent – McCarthy, Davy, Pincot and the English artificial stone of the 1760s
  • 7. Cement works in ports The success of caissons in the technical literature – The concrete of De Caire for the port of Versoix – Concrete works of Picault, Robert and Descolins – at the port of Saint-Jean-de-Luz
  • Name index


Publisher: EPFL Press English Imprint

Author(s): Roberto Gargiani

Collection: Treatise on Concrete

Published: 8 july 2013

Edition: 1st edition

Media: Book

Pages count Book: 404

Format (in mm) Book: 160 x 240

Weight (in grammes): 1150 (Book)

Language(s): English

EAN13 Book: 9782940222643

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