François Hennebique


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(1842–1921). French pioneer who developed a complete system of concrete reinforced with steel bars and hooked connections in 1892, evolving earlier patents by Monier. His first experiment seems to have been proposals for a house at Lombartzyde, Belgium (1879), in which an iron frame was replaced by one of steel bars encased in concrete. He called his system ferro-concrete, and used it for the first reinforced-concrete bridge at Viggen, Switzerland (1894), followed by grain-elevators and factories built of the same material from 1894. His Charles Six spinning-mill, Tourcoing, France (1895), was an early use of a framed structure in ferro-concrete, and he gained further publicity with his cantilevered concrete structure for an exhibition in Geneva (1896), followed by staircases at the Petit Palais, Paris (1897–1900). He revolutionized theatre-design with the use of cantilevered galleries at Morges (1899): his Schauspielhaus (theatre) in Munich (1901–3) was one of the first buildings to have an exposed concrete frame, while his own house at Bourg-la-Reine (1904) was a remarkable example of the sculptural possibilities of the material. He designed the structure of the Imperial Palace Hotel, Nice (1900), the first use of reinforced concrete for a hotel. His in-house journal, Le Béton Armé (1898–1921) is an important record of his designs.

From A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Architecture.

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