The Rough Concrete Surfaces of Notre-Dame du Raincy

In 1923, the French architect and builder Auguste Perret shocked the world by realizing a monumental civic building that, for the first time, unapologetically exposed the cast concrete from which it was made. His church of Notre-Dame du Raincy constituted a manifesto for the aesthetic, architectural potential of what until then had largely been considered a liability: rugged, streaked, stained, cracked, and naked concrete. In the wake of this project and its seminal influence, designers and the public alike increasingly equated untreated concrete with modern architecture.