Concrete may call to mind city blocks and parking lots, but lately the material has been going into a range of architectural masterpieces around the world.
In a new two-volume set, “100 Contemporary Concrete Buildings” (Taschen, $59.99), writer Philip Jodidio reveals how the material has become the stuff of high design, such as in Zaha Hadid’s government building Pierresvives in Montpellier, France, and Richard Meier’s Jubilee Church in Rome.
New technological developments have made concrete lighter and sturdier, giving architects more flexibility. “It is a material that has a bad reputation,” says Mr. Jodidio. “You think of concrete as being heavy stuff, and it is heavy, but it is capable of projecting an image of lightness.” […]