A Concrete Building

by Don Friedman on October 11, 2017

A market hall in Wrocław, Poland:

That’s how you do exposed concrete. The hall has the basic layout of a church, with a cross plan for the high gable roof and lower infill between the cross arms. The roof and its clerestory are supported by a series of parabolic concrete arches, which intersect at the crossing.

The concrete is nicely detailed and finished, as well. A lot of care went into the design and construction of this building.

None of this is necessary. This building serves the same purpose as the average supermarket and could physically look like one – a low and level ceiling, undifferentiated space, no visible structure – without any loss of function. But, even if you don’t like exposed concrete, it’s hard to believe there wouldn’t be any loss at all if you replaced this building.

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