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A groundbreaking work resulting from the collaboration between the three major Swiss Architectural Archives and the Swiss Architecture Museum in Basel. A historical assessment of the most controversial building material of our time, concrete, made by addressing a number of issues of global relevance from a particular vantage point: reinforced concrete construction in Switzerland. Through contributions by internationally renowned researchers, the book analyses a series of moments in the Swiss history of reinforced concrete, from the initial phase of its introduction in the country to the most refined applications in architecture and engineering.


  • Curatorial Statement
  • Message from the Director of the S AM
  • Switzerland, A Technological Pastoral / Laurent Stalder
  • Beton is a State of Mind: On the Representation of Concrete in Swiss Cinema / Marcel Bächtiger
  • Nature, Science, and Enterprise: The Origins of the Success of Reinforced Concrete in Switzerland. The Introduction, Diffusion, and Supersedence of the Hennebique System / Salvatore Aprea
  • Between Constraint and Freedom to Innovate: Swiss Standards to Innovate / Aurelio Muttoni
  • The N2 Chiasso–Saint Gotthard Motorway: Design and Construction of One Hundred and Forty-Three Kilometres of Reinforced Concrete / Ilaria Giannetti
  • Reinforced Country Below Ground / Silvia Berger Ziauddin
  • Terraced Hillside Housing Architectures. When Vineyards Gave Way to Swiss Families / Lorenzo Stieger
  • The Swiss Principle of Béton Brut: ‘Betonkonstruktion’. A Debate between Theory and Practice, 1940s–1960s / Silvia Groaz
  • Gesamtschweizerische Plattenbau – Large-Panel Construction in Switzerland. The IGECO Heavy Prefabrication System in Göhner Housing Estates: Serial Production and Variations (1965–1977) / Giulia Marino
  • The Pluralities of the Possible / Martin Tschanz
  • ‘In our country, it is practically impossible not to build in concrete’. Brief Notes on Exposed Reinforced Concrete in the Architecture of Ticino / Nicola Navone
  • Concrete in the Early Works of Herzog and de Meuron / Roberto Gargiani
  • Southern Fragments of Swiss Asbestos-Cement, 1940 to 2040 / Hannah le Roux
  • CONCRETE STORIES / Sarah Nichols
  • Introduction
  • Concrete is Rock
  • Concrete is Underground
  • Concrete is Energy
  • Concrete is Second Nature
  • Concrete is Monolithic
  • Concrete is Composite
  • Concrete is Immaterial
  • Concrete is Praxis
  • Concrete is Fluid
  • Image Credits
  • Author biographies


Publisher: EPFL Press

Author(s): Salvatore Aprea, Nicola Navone, Laurent Stalder, Sarah Nichols

Collection: Architecture

Published: 2 december 2021

Edition: 1st edition

Media: Book

Pages count Book: 288

Format (in mm) Book: 210 x 270

Weight (in grammes): 1070

Language(s): English

EAN13 Book: 9782889153534

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