26 February 2021
Stunning new photos from around the world showcase the beauty and importance of concrete
Over 10,000 worldwide entries to the GCCA’s Concrete in Life photography competition capture concrete’s role in our daily lives
(London: 26th February 2021) – Concrete plays a fundamental role in the world around us and in our daily lives. It supports our communities, keeps us connected, and provides our homes, key infrastructure and the cities around us. The Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA) is celebrating concrete, the most used human-made material on our planet, with the release of the winning pictures from its ‘Concrete in Life 2020’ global photography competition.
These stunning photos from both professional and amateur photographers capture what concrete means to people around the world – from urban scenes to playparks, from beautiful architecture to essential transport networks, and from the modern wonders we can see to the hidden infrastructure often out of sight. More than 10,000 pictures were submitted to the competition by people across the world, covering three categories (Concrete Infrastructure, Urban Concrete, and Concrete in Daily Life) with the entries demonstrating the widespread, diverse and sustainable use of concrete across the globe.
The competition ran from October to December 2020. The overall winner scoops the top prize of $10,000, with each of the category winners receiving $2,500. In addition to the six winners, the competition judges selected a shortlist which is viewable on the GCCA website. A film about the competition is available here.
Judging the competition were: Gabriele Galimberti, National Geographic photographer; John Fairley, Photographer and Creative Director of Curious Productions; Gian Luca Barone, Senior Associate at Zaha Hadid Architects; Dinah McLeod, Chief Executive of the GCCA.
Dinah McLeod said: “The pictures truly capture the wide range of ways in which concrete plays a fundamental role in life. We were delighted and overwhelmed by the stunning quality and number of photos that we received from just about every corner of the world – a huge thank you to all entrants. We were hugely impressed with their ability to depict how concrete has been continuing to support our lives even in these difficult times.”
The Overall Winner:
Nurlan Tahirli said: “I am hugely honoured to be the winner of Concrete in Life 2020. The photo I took was at the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, Azerbaijan. I was struck by the building’s unique and unusual look – its stunning design with simplicity of lines, single colour and complexity of structure portraying the modern beauty of concrete and how people were interacting with it and enjoying it.”
Concrete Infrastructure Amateur winner
Mariëtte Ewalds: “This bridge “De Lentloper” in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, was photographed to show the relationship between concrete and sustainability. The bridge is a surprising place to fully enjoy the beautiful surroundings not just by passing but also working-out or cycling. It becomes one with nature. How both functional and beautiful concrete can be!”
Concrete Infrastructure Professional winner
Nishar Mohammed said: “This picture is of the Defence Roundabout Intersection on Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai, which opened in January 2011. 450,000 vehicles enter Dubai on an average every day from other Emirates, with the city welcoming 40,000 vehicles in the morning peak hours every day. It’s concrete enabling people to conduct their daily lives.”
Urban Concrete Amateur category winner (and Overall Winner)
Nurlan Tahirli said:“I am hugely honoured to be the winner of Concrete in Life 2020. The photo I took was at the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, Azerbaijan. I was struck by the building’s unique and unusual look – its stunning design with simplicity of lines, single colour and complexity of structure portraying the modern beauty of concrete and how people were interacting with it and enjoying it.”
Urban Concrete Professional winner
Ekaterina Koryakova said: This picture captures perfect geometry, minimalism, graceful lines, harmonious shades and colours. Concrete inspires me as much as nature and I can’t stop admiring it.
Concrete in Daily Life Amateur winner
Christopher Andres said: “The thought of growing up in the final resting place of people might be jarring but for these kids who live in a cemetery in Rizal, it isn’t always like that. This use of concrete isn’t just a tomb or their bed at night, it’s a platform of fun and laughter.”
Concrete in Daily Life Professional winner
Christopher “Tawpee” Comeso said:
“I took this picture in a newly opened family park here in Abu Dhabi ‘Dalma Park’ while I was taking a photo walk. I took a picture of the child while playing in the unique concrete maze. This photo captures concrete’s beauty and shows its important role in all aspects of life like a child’s upbringing.”
Quotes from our judges:
Gabriele Galimberti, National Geographic photographer: “I am deeply impressed with how the entrants were able to capture the beauty and magnificence of concrete, and tell the story of how it is supporting us in our daily lives.”
John Fairley, Photographer and Creative Director of Curious Productions said: “Despite the pandemic, which has restricted nearly every part of our lives, concrete still plays a huge role in society. I am amazed at the quality of entries this year in capturing the beauty of this everyday material that often goes unnoticed.”
Gian Luca Barone, Senior Associate at Zaha Hadid Architects said: “Concrete plays a fundamental role in our built environment, enabling us to design with near unlimited versatility. It’s fantastic to see how people have captured how concrete can be both beautiful and essential at the same time.”
- Infrastructure #ConcreteInfrastructure
Photographs of our infrastructure, in our cities and rural areas, above and below ground: highways, bridges, airports, stations and dams, let’s celebrate the concrete buildings supporting and enabling our vibrant lifestyles.
- Urban design and use #UrbanConcrete
Images of the city landscapes and buildings around us, both well-known and hidden away – from the Sydney Opera House to the tower block you might have grown up in.
- Concrete in daily life #ConcreteInDailyLife
Showcase the human side of concrete – how it’s used and interacted with daily. Also includes small scale applications of concrete. We also encourage you to show how concrete is playing a role in your current life or those around you through these difficult times.
Last year, 40 of the world’s leading cement and concrete manufacturers announced a climate ambition, committing to produce carbon neutral concrete by 2050 in line with global climate targets.