International Symposium


International Symposium
Cement, reinforced concrete and building culture: European perspectives in the 19th and 20th centuries

Lisbonne, 30 Novembre 2018, Salão Nobre do Teatro Nacional D. Maria II
The aim of the Symposium is to put together different visions by scholars from different countries in order to obtain a panoramic view of the paradigm shift that has occurred throughout Europe from building cultures originating in lime-based masonries (initially combined with structural iron and then from the 19th century onwards with steel) into a building culture based on Portland cement and its derivates (pipes, poles, hydraulic mosaics, precast beams-pillars-slabs-walls-panels-tiles) as well as on the reinforced concrete building system.

Guest speakers: Edwin Trout (UK), Gilbert Richaud (France), Tullia Iori (Italy), Mario Rinke (Switzerland/Germany), Bernard Espion (Belgium), Francisco Domouso de Alba (Spain), João Mascarenhas Mateus (Portugal).
​Detailed presentation:
Programme available at:

Opening and introduction
João Pardal Monteiro (President, Lisbon School of Architecture, University of Lisbon)
Fernando Moreira da Silva (President, CIAUD – Research Centre for Architecture, Urbanism and Design, University of Lisbon; President – Scientific Council, Lisbon School of Architecture, University of Lisbon)
João Mascarenhas Mateus (FCT principal researcher, CIAUD, Lisbon School of Architecture, University of Lisbon; Chairman – SPEHC, Portuguese Society for The Study of Construction History)
9.30 – 10.10
From Patent to Standard: accommodating change in Britain’s use of building materials, 1824-1934
Edwin Trout (The Concrete Society, United Kingdom)
The first concretes and the rise of a new aesthetic paradigm in nineteenth century France
Gilbert Richaud (Laboratoire de Recherche Historique Rhône-Alpes, France)
10.50-11.10 – Coffee break
11.10 – 11.50
The role of reinforced concrete in the Italian School of Engineering
Tullia Iori (Macroarea di Ingegneria, Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata, Italy)
11.50 – 12.30
Comments and Portuguese perspectives
Rui Póvoas (Faculdade de Arquitectura, Universidade do Porto) and Julio Appleton (Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa)
12.30 – 12.45 – Debate
12.45-14.50 – Lunch
14.50 – 15.30
Institutions within a new material. Early reinforced concrete in Switzerland and Germany
Mario Rinke (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich, Switzerland)
Highlights and landmarks in the history of cement, concrete and structural concrete in Belgium
Bernard Espion (Laboratoire du Génie Civil, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium)
16.10-16.30 – Coffee break
16.30- 17.10
The first patents for reinforced concrete in Spain: the origin of the 20th century construction revolution
Francisco Domouso de Alba (Escuela de Arquitectura, Ingeniería y Diseño, Universidad Europea de Madrid, Spain)
From lime to cement and reinforced concrete: building culture in Portugal before 1945
João Mascarenhas Mateus (CIAUD – Faculdade de Arquitectura, Universidade de Lisboa)
17.50-18.20 – Debate
18.20-18.30 – Concluding remarks and closing
Free entry until the room reaches capacity.