Reden wir über Zement. Blinde Flecken in der Architektur- und Umweltgeschichte

Translated title of the contribution: Let's Talk about Cement.: Blind Spots in Architectural and Environmental History

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Cement is a building material that is of relevance for
the climate, a look should be taken at its characteristics
as a social construct. In the history of modern
architecture, the cement works is ascribed hardly any
importance and yet it represents a key technology of
early industrial globalisation, and the history of
mentality demonstrates a naturalisation of technology.
(e narrative of the process of producing cement
as an “organism” ignored both positive and
negative environmental effects: for instance, the
problem of the “dust plague”, which in Holderbank
was first addressed in the 1960s. A further blind spot
is the place where the raw material was extracted. It
was only through the spatial planning legislation of
1979 that the damaged nature resulting from the interplay
of market, state, politics, and design was seen
and recultivated from the 1980s onwards – however,
in Holderbank this went little further than greenwashing.
In this context, as well as climate-friendly
construction architecture can also show what practical
implementation and the connection of growth
critique, post growth and degrowth, looks like.
Translated title of the contributionLet's Talk about Cement.: Blind Spots in Architectural and Environmental History
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)32-36
Number of pages5
JournalWerk - Bauen & Wohnen
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2022


  • cement
  • architectural history
  • environmental history
  • building material


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