From Imitation to Acceptance to Worldwide Production of Schokbeton

Quist, W. J. (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentationTalk or presentation at a conference


The Dutch precast concrete company Schokbeton started activities in the early 1930’s, introducing well compacted concrete elements some of them plain, others mimicking the colour, details, and surface finishes of natural stone. Being a modern, industrially produced material with a traditional stone imitating look, Schokbeton served both traditional and modern architecture. This paper presents
original research on the factories’ concrete recipes and products (1930–1970) and concludes on the development of the material from an imitation to a ‘real’ material in its own right. The paper discusses the relation between the patented production technology, the architectural products used in Modernist buildings and the concrete technology (recipes). The recipes show experiments with crushed stone and many different sands. At first, the mixtures seemed to be random, but looking closer it becomes evident that the post-war architectural
developments highly relate to the use of certain aggregates in the concrete and therefore with the aesthetics. It is argued that the relation of the concrete mixture and production technology with the design of the concrete element has often been underestimated. It is clear that by the end of the nineteen fifties an International Style in precast-concrete was born. Schokbeton clearly played a role in this development, but based on recently discovered archive material it is questionable how big this influence has been.
Period31 Aug 2021
Event titleThe 16th International Docomomo Conference: Inheritable Resilience - Sharing Values of Global Modernities
Event typeConference
Conference number16
LocationTokyo, Japan