Review: Beyond Concrete. Strategien für eine postfossile Baukultur

Press/Media: Expert comment


This is a review of Beyond Concrete, in which Alexander Stumm explicitly highlights my contribution, the essay "Dreiecksgeschichten/Triangular Stories:" "Architectural historian Kim Förster from the University of Manchester brilliantly manages to create a dense network of references in his article 'Triangular stories. Cement as a cheap commodity, critical building material and seemingly harmless climate killer,' he creates a dense network of references. His environmental history of cement (with a focus on Switzerland) ranges from the first cement plant in Holderbank (today: Holcim) in 1912 to the pilot project for the renaturation of the Schümel quarry and the ETH flagship project NEST (short for 'Next Evolution in Sustainable Building Technology,' designed by Gramazio Kohler) in Zurich, where experiments for a climate-friendly building future are being carried out today. What hardly anyone notices about NEST: The open shelf structure in which the experiments take place is made of reinforced concrete, donated by Holcim Switzerland. Using an example like this, Förster gets to the heart of the many unquestioned contradictions of a 'green' transformation. His proposal to see the kiln in the cement works as a central technical tool of architectural modernism is also exciting. For him, material and energy flows, extraction and construction come together in the kiln as 'a paradigmatic installation, precisely because of its central role in cementing the ideas, practices and institutions of modernity'." 

Period22 Dec 2023

Media contributions


Media contributions

  • TitleReview: Beyond Concrete Strategien für eine postfossile Baukultur
    Degree of recognitionInternational
    Media name/outletSadtbauwelt
    Media typePrint
    Producer/AuthorAlexander Stumm
    PersonsKim Foerster