Concrete is Heritage
Concrete heritage is commonly considered a recent heritage or “modern heritage”. Experimentations of concrete from the twentieth century started during the late 18th Century and for reinforced concrete in the late 19th century. It is important to fully appreciate its significance and cultural value. It is also important to understand the design approach and construction in order to develop an approach to its ongoing repair that ensures its long-term stewardship into the future. The significance of concrete buildings and structures may often be defined by similar heritage values, such as construction techniques, innovative use of materials and construction typology, or often a combination of these.
To help to understand the significance of a particular concrete building or structure you can find in this section examples of recognised concrete monuments organised by different heritage values.
Heritage is often seen as a burden society has to endure. it is quite the opposite: heritage has very important benefits for society as a whole.
Heritage helps us understand our common history, it gives us a sense of belonging, a sense of community. It bears witness to the transformations society has lived through and materializes new needs society has encountered. Throughout the XXth century, society has witnessed a complete change in the spaces for habitation, education, health, culture, leisure, administration, commerce, and in its infrastructures for transportation, communications, industry, etc. New materials –concrete in particular– together with new techniques made this changes possible and allowed for a better society, giving rise to a different architecture, a new esthetic.
Time has passed and we now begin to understand and to appreciate the importance of these constructions and, therefore, the need to preserve its most outstanding examples. And, of course, while some of these are in bad shape, others have aged surprisingly well, and they will all have to adapt to contemporary needs and regulations.
In the same way society understands the need and the benefits of the preservation of buildings belonging to past cultures, as cathedrals or palaces, we now have to face the ones belonging to the XXth century. They are essential to understand our history, key towards sustainable development and necessary for economic and societal development.