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Built to stock. Versatility of Hennebique's urban warehouses in Belgium (1892-1914)


Medium: conference paper
Language(s): English
Conference: 6th International Congress on Construction History (6ICCH 2018), July 9-13, 2018, Brussels, Belgium
Published in:
Year: 2018
Abstract: This paper contributes to an understanding of the early application and technology of the Hennebique system of reinforced concrete construction in Belgium. By focusing on one specific building typology (urban warehouses) built in a short timeframe (1892–1914) in Belgium, we show the similarities among these early reinforced concrete structures, but also the variety of technical details applied within the Hennebique system. Indeed, urban warehouses, as functional buildings, were structures in which new technologies and materials were quickly adopted. The search for increased spans, higher load-bearing capacity and greater fire safety intertwined with the advantages of reinforced concrete in the Hennebique system. The files on urban warehouses in the archive Fonds Bétonsarmés Hennebique (BAH) are used as primary sources, complemented by an analysis of planning applications and onsite visits, to gain insight into the construction process and the actors involved.


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