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Daniel Libeskind’s Canadian National Holocaust Memorial is formed from tall, angular in-situ concrete walls laid out in the points of a star. The concrete creates a sombre backdrop to a series of enclosed spaces and is painted with detailed, large-scale versions of Edward Burtynsky’s photographs of Holocaust sites. In the central space, a “Stair of Hope” cuts through a dramatically inclined wall.

From the archive: SUMMER 1960


In 1960, CQ got the chance to visit Brazil and witness one of the most ambitious architectural projects of all time. In 1955, the new president Juscelino Kubitschek had decided to build an entirely new capital city from scratch. Brasília was “the product of two brains only,” wrote CQ: “the plan, Lucio Costa’s, the buildings, Oscar Niemeyer’s”. In just five years, it had become a reality – albeit with plenty of work still to do: the city was, CQ noted, “a place of widely scattered buildings, red earth with runnels of water shining in the sun, red mud sparkling”.

Already risen from the red earth, however, was one of Niemeyer’s great showpieces: the Presidential Palace. It is striking how different the language CQ used to describe this building was to the other great buildings of the 1960s. The façade was “serene”; the columns “swans”, their slender neck-like stems rising from a smooth mirrored pool and “festooned along the veranda”. The sinuous concrete curves of the terrace were “wonderfully unthickened” by their white marble cladding.

The book, The World Recast: 70 Buildings from 70 Years of Concrete Quarterly, is out now, available from 

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