In 1939, Iceland’s State Architect Guðjón Samúelsson (1887–1950) filed a patent for the “Improvements in or relating to Treating the Surfaces of Buildings and other Structures, particularly of Concrete” (GB 516,064, 21-12-1939), although the Steining technique had already been used in Reykjavík for a few years, developed by several local builders working for the State Architect. This Icelandic version of pebbledash, whose outcomes were “a very neat appearance” of “already built buildings and other structures, particularly of concrete” and a greater resistance against the “rigorous climatic conditions”, was to cover almost all concrete surfaces of Reykjavík, until the late 1950s. The technique consisted in the application of a layer of stone fragments on a thin layer of cement mortar, manually applied, with the help of a trowel. Steining could avoid the inaccuracies on concrete surfaces, in a country where the labour force was not particularly skilled, and was a protection against the cold climate. It also had visual outcomes: on the one hand, the use of local aggregates such as quartz and obsidian generated a concrete polychromy that spanned from darker to lighter shades; on the other, such fragments became an architectural mirror of the Icelandic geology and, consequently, a built ode to the island’s natural landscape. Until now, Steining has been studied from a conservation point of view by the Icelandic literature (Ári Trausti Guðmundsson, Flósi Ólafsson 2003), and within the development of an Icelandic architectural modernity (Seelow 2011). Analysing its most peculiar applications, namely Reykjavík’s National Theatre (1928–50) and the University of Iceland (1934–40), this research aims at placing Steining within a wider history of construction. The main scope is to trace the connections between Steining and similar concrete surfaces employed in the same years in Northern Europe and to define its role in the development of the Icelandic architecture.

Icelandic Concrete Surfaces: Guðjón Samúelsson’s Steining (1930–50) / Nannini, Sofia. - STAMPA. - (2020), pp. 541-552. ((Intervento presentato al convegno Seventh Conference of the Construction History Society nel 4/04/2020.

Icelandic Concrete Surfaces: Guðjón Samúelsson’s Steining (1930–50)

Nannini Sofia
2020

Abstract

In 1939, Iceland’s State Architect Guðjón Samúelsson (1887–1950) filed a patent for the “Improvements in or relating to Treating the Surfaces of Buildings and other Structures, particularly of Concrete” (GB 516,064, 21-12-1939), although the Steining technique had already been used in Reykjavík for a few years, developed by several local builders working for the State Architect. This Icelandic version of pebbledash, whose outcomes were “a very neat appearance” of “already built buildings and other structures, particularly of concrete” and a greater resistance against the “rigorous climatic conditions”, was to cover almost all concrete surfaces of Reykjavík, until the late 1950s. The technique consisted in the application of a layer of stone fragments on a thin layer of cement mortar, manually applied, with the help of a trowel. Steining could avoid the inaccuracies on concrete surfaces, in a country where the labour force was not particularly skilled, and was a protection against the cold climate. It also had visual outcomes: on the one hand, the use of local aggregates such as quartz and obsidian generated a concrete polychromy that spanned from darker to lighter shades; on the other, such fragments became an architectural mirror of the Icelandic geology and, consequently, a built ode to the island’s natural landscape. Until now, Steining has been studied from a conservation point of view by the Icelandic literature (Ári Trausti Guðmundsson, Flósi Ólafsson 2003), and within the development of an Icelandic architectural modernity (Seelow 2011). Analysing its most peculiar applications, namely Reykjavík’s National Theatre (1928–50) and the University of Iceland (1934–40), this research aims at placing Steining within a wider history of construction. The main scope is to trace the connections between Steining and similar concrete surfaces employed in the same years in Northern Europe and to define its role in the development of the Icelandic architecture.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11583/2809699