Rome Concrete Poetry Hall Reading List

Concrete is the most utilised and perhaps the most versatile of building materials. Since the period of the Roman Empire, architects, engineers and builders have tested the limits of concrete, manipulating its contents to produce the wide variety of shapes and finishes we see around us in the world today. The following books are a just a sample of useful publications that analyse, document and photograph the use of concrete in architecture.




Solid States: Concrete in Transition, by Michael Bell and Craig Buckley
Find on Amazon

Though concrete has performed as a component of construction for millennia, it is a material consistently undergoing scientific development. Research continues to yield stronger, lighter products that challenge existing limitations of color, texture and implementation in building and design. Solid States: Concrete in Transition offers insights on the uses and potentials of concrete by a range of academics and professionals in the fields of architecture, engineering and fabrication. This anthology includes essays by Toshiko Mori, Bernard Tschumi, Steven Holl, Guy Nordenson, Matthias Schuler and others.


Pier Luigi Nervi: Architecture as Challenge, by Barry Bergdoll and Christoph Pourtois
Find on Amazon

Pier Luigi Nervi, the Italian engineer and architect, challenged the traditional uses of concrete to pioneer new ways of thinking about the material as a construction tool. His ribbed-concrete dome designed for the Palazzetto dello Sport, a stadium built for the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, combined techniques of ancient Roman dome-building with innovations in reinforced concrete to produce a groundbreaking structure for an international audience. Pier Luigi Nervi: Architecture as Challenge examines the full spectrum of Nervi’s career from 1920s to the 1970s.


Concrete, edited by William Hall
Find on Amazon

This is a book noteworthy for its impressive collection of photographs, documenting the aesthetics of concrete architecture, with projects extending from ancient Rome to the 21st century. Concrete includes projects by architects such as Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, Zaha Hadid and John Pawson.


Concrete Planet, The Strange and Fascinating Story of the World's Most Common Man-Made Material, by Robert Courland
Find on Amazon

Concrete Planet is an engaging account of concrete as told by a historian, with a focus on narrative rather than on the technological. The author navigates thousands of years of civilization to tell a story of concrete and its varied influences on the constructed environment. The result is a light and enjoyable read constructed with colorful characters and a fascinating collection of details.


Have more great books on this topic? Submit your ideas to Bee Breeders here!

Open architecture competitions

  • Closest Deadline first
  • Project competitions first
    Selected winning projects have the potential to be constructed
  • Ideas competitions first
    Experimental competitions with the focus on pushing the boundaries of creativity
ideas COMPETITION
The Last Nuclear Bomb Memorial

Design a memorial that speaks towards the cause of ending all nuclear weapons

Prize: MONETARY AWARD
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

Remind me
Dec 15
Jan 27
Apr 21
Register now
ideas COMPETITION
Toronto Affordable Housing Challenge

Design affordable housing solutions for Toronto

Prize: MONETARY AWARD + PUBLICATION IN THE BOOK
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

Remind me
Dec 16
Jan 28
Apr 22
Register now
ideas COMPETITION
SKYHIVE 2021 Skyscraper Challenge

Fourth annual competition to redefine the modern-day skyscraper

Prize: MONETARY AWARD
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

Remind me
Dec 17
Jan 29
Apr 23
Register now
project COMPETITION
Sleeping Pods on a Cliff

Design a series of sleeping pods for a Portugal yoga retreat

Prize: MONETARY AWARD + CONSTRUCTION
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

Remind me
Dec 18
Feb 01
Apr 27
Register now
project COMPETITION
Tiny Kiwi Meditation Cabin

Design a meditation space in New Zealand

Prize: MONETARY AWARD + CONSTRUCTION
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

Remind me
Dec 21
Feb 02
Apr 28
Register now
project COMPETITION
Spirala Community Home

Create a community home for the Spirala Ecological Village

Prize: MONETARY AWARD + CONSTRUCTION
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

Remind me
Dec 22
Feb 03
Apr 29
Register now
project COMPETITION
Omuli Museum of the Horse

Reimagine a historical primary school into a museum for horses

Prize: MONETARY AWARD + CONSTRUCTION
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

Remind me
Dec 14
Jan 26
Apr 23
Register now

ARCHITECTURE COMPETITIONS

Newsletter