Hardcore was the name of an exhibition of concrete at the Royal Institute of British Architects in 2002, its subtitle was ‘concrete’s rise from utility to luxury’. It was a unique exhibition that highlighted concrete’s huge, but often unknown, range of associations. It explained how, over the last 100 years, concrete has had a huge effect on our environment and that it is constantly being redefined in both its functions and associations.

Cement is one of the main ingredients of concrete and occupies its biggest use. It is a mixture of limestone, clay and shale. By adding water the powder is set and can be used for moulding. If too much water is added, the hardness of the cement is reduced and if too little water is added, the chemical ...

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