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The Rising Artistry of
by Kristin Dispenza, CSI
All photos courtesy Tilt-up Concrete Association
MATERIALS WITH ORIGINS IN ENGINEERING
OR INDUSTRIAL APPLICATIONS OFTEN
BECOME EMBRACED FOR THEIR ARTISTIC
OR ARCHITECTURAL POTENTIAL. FOR
EXAMPLE, WEATHERING STEEL WAS DEVELOPED
IN THE 1930 S FOR RAILWAY COAL WAGONS, BUT
EVENTUALLY BEGAN APPEARING AS CLADDING
ON HIGH-PROFILE BUILDINGS IN THE 1960 S —ITS
SIGNATURE BRAND NAME, COR-TEN, IS NOW
UNIVERSALLY RECOGNIZED AMONG DESIGNERS.
Such break-out success is not uncommon in architecture.
After all, experimenting with the aesthetic properties of
an otherwise basic or practical building material has
always been a hallmark of the discipline; this tendency
only gained momentum in the 20 th century when the
concept of functionalism was introduced. In the modern
and post-modern eras, the line between form and function
has been frequently crossed.
Surprisingly, tilt-up construction, a method regularly
selected for industrial and other plain applications following
10 the construction speciﬁer | january 2014
12/16/13 9:17 AM