Early Reinforced Concrete in the Russian Empire: The Introduction of a New Building Technology at the Turn of the 20th Century

The introduction of reinforced concrete construction in Russia saw the development of many significant buildings within a short period of time. The thesis project examines these developments from the period around the turn of the 19th and onset of the 20th century, with particular focus on technology transfer by foreign construction companies and adaptation of the new design by engineers and architects of the Russian Empire. The October Revolution of 1917 interrupted this construction phase and thus constitutes the limit to the period of investigation.

In the first phase of the work all known reinforced concrete buildings from the period under investigation will be compiled in a catalogue. The catalogue details the different companies and individuals and provides a classification of the building elements and the buildings.

An examination of the general government conditions will then be carried out, with particular focus on the exchange of knowledge, the allocations of patents or licenses and questions of building controls and standard setting.

The third step is to carry out a thorough analysis of a selection of exemplary buildings as case studies. Besides the evaluation of existing literature and various archives, in situ investigations in particular will be carried out in order to unearth new insights. As a final step, the development of reinforced concrete construction in Russia will be situated in the pan-European context.

Researcher: Vladimir Korensky

Original Caption: Lighthouse made of reinforced concrete in the Ožarskaja promontory at Nikolaev. Fotograf: unbekannt. Quelle: http://img-fotki.yandex.ru/get/6432/97833783.153/0_99256_f09f8ee4_XXXL.jpg (07.01.2015).