Betong i arkitekturen. Gestaltning och teknik 1930-1980
Doctoral thesis, 2008

Bengt J O Johansson: Betong i arkitekturen. Gestaltning och teknik 1930–1980 (Concrete in Architecture. Design and Technology 1930–1980). Göteborg 2008. Written in Swedish with an English summary. This is a study of the interaction between design and technology for buildings of concrete construction during 1930-1980. Its aim is to describe the design and constructional development during the different stages of style change throughout this period, and how design and technology have influenced each other. Knowledge about building technology utilising concrete is essential for understanding the building heritage of our own era. The study encompasses architecture and construction technology. The sources are literature and drawings, and the buildings themselves. The study begins with an account of the development of concrete building technology during the period in question. Construction technology provides the basis for the analysis of the interaction with architecture. This interaction is described in three thematically sectioned chapters and summarised and analysed in a concluding chapter. These thematic chapters deal with concrete as ’the material for modernism’, as ‘the material for design’ and as ‘the material for rationalism’. Concrete construction was at the beginning of the 1930s an ideal in the creation of functionalist (modernistic) architecture, even if the structures were initially mostly of traditional character. During this decennium, however, concrete became the most commonly used material for construction in buildings. From the 1950s onwards, on-site concrete constructions were utilised in the creation of buildings of character. The textured surface of the concrete, often derived by carefully shaped casts or through finishing processes made a vital contribution to the design. Concrete formed load-bearing elements and constructions gave design to interiors, exte-riors, and even complete volumes. Architects adopted concrete construction technology and at the same time freed themselves from traditional architecture with historical roots. This resulted in painstakingly designed concrete buildings. Parallel with this, from the 1960s onwards, industrialised construction with precast concrete modular sections for entire building structures and façades were developed. Here the construction process and prefabrication technology became design-oriented motives, often finding expression through their large-scale, repetition, and duplication of identical modular units in the individual building and the repetition of identical buildings. The concrete surfaces of the façades’ sectional units were produced rationally; they formed and accentuated this industrialised construction.

building structures

precast concrete units. Sweden.

architectural design

concrete construction

interaction between design and technology


building technology

Hörsal VH, Sven Hultins gata 6, Chalmers, Göteborg
Opponent: PhD, lektor Ola Wedebrunn, Arkitekturskolan vid Konstakademien i Köpenhamn


Bengt J O Johansson

Chalmers, Architecture

Subject Categories

Building Technologies



Publikation - Chalmers tekniska högskola, Sektionen för arkitektur: 2008:1

Doktorsavhandlingar vid Chalmers tekniska högskola. Ny serie: 2732

Hörsal VH, Sven Hultins gata 6, Chalmers, Göteborg

Opponent: PhD, lektor Ola Wedebrunn, Arkitekturskolan vid Konstakademien i Köpenhamn

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