Title: Loved Concrete
Author(s): Rui-Wamba Martija, J.; Corres Peiretti, H.
Appears on pages(s): 26-May
The traditional Conferences on Bridges and Structures to which ACHE summons us (ACHE being a marriage, first de facto and then de jure of ATEP and GEHO) have been, are and will remain a physical and intellectual space for the encounters, every three years, of those of us who dedicate our professional lives to conceiving, designing, building and maintaining structures; or to studying, understanding and investigating their past, present and future. Every three years we gather to show, debate and disseminate the structural fruits harvested in recent years. The ACHE Conferences are hence like a Sunday market, with stands offering varied merchandise, carefully selected and seductively presented, stimulating and enticing all of us to try and create better structures, to contribute our structural fruits to show and prove the high level of Spanish engineering. And that level is high precisely because there is no such thing as Spanish structural engineering. Because engineering does not recognise political boundaries and, since long ago, we are already a universal community, talking the same language, using similar methodologies, procedures and materials. But the universality of our technology is no obstacle for local traits. An obvious characteristic of structures is that they grow from the ground, in a specific terrain, within a given plot, with which the participating professionals will, more often than not, maintain geographical proximity. The motto ?think globally, act locally? has been and will always be fully applicable to the world of architects and civil engineers. With exceptions, of course. But unlike planes, ships and mobile telephones, which are built in a few places and used in many more, in the greatest majority of instances constructions are born where they will live; and live where, in the distant future, will one day die. The ACHE Conferences, once ATEP and then ATEP-GEHO Conferences, are also living history of Spanish structural engineering. Since their inception over 50 years go, no notable professional or significant work have been permanently absent from them. All our professors, all major construction works, the main construction firms, the more prestigious consultants, Schools and Universities, professional bodies, specialised firms, they have all participated at some point. The analysis of the documentation accumulated at theses Conferences could be used to track the evolution of structural engineering, the successive generational takeovers, the priorities and concerns at each point, some of which still remain while some were superseded by others which, in due course, no longer required attention themselves.