Concrete as heritage: the social perception from heritage criteria perspective. The Eduardo Torroja’s work

26 December 2020

Due to its malleability, hardness and endless possibilities, in terms of texture and colour, concrete became the building material par excellence to design most of the buildings around the world, some of them with a great architectural, historical and cultural relevance. It is difficult to talk about concrete as heritage without mentioning Eduardo Torroja as one of the main precursors of the development of reinforced and prestressed concrete in the 20th -century: in the following article entitled “Concrete as heritage: the social perception from heritage criteria perspective. The Eduardo Torroja’s work” you will learn about the results obtained by the University of Cadiz regarding the social perception of Eduardo Torroja’s work as part of our cultural heritage.


Eduardo Torroja Miret (1899-1961) was one of the most important Spanish engineers. His understanding of structures and materials made him a world reference in the field of engineering and architecture. Due to the lack of ornamentation in his works and the lack of heritage interpretation aimed at a non-specialist public, many of his works sometimes go unnoticed by inexperienced eyes and, despite his important legacy, Torroja remains a great unknown. This paper reports on the existing heritage perception of two of his most outstanding works in Spain, the Zarzuela Hippodrome and the Instituto Técnico de la Construcción y el Cemento (Eduardo Torroja Institute). To this end, surveys and interviews were carried out with visitors to both buildings based on different heritage criteria, such as their architectural importance, aesthetics, significance or representativeness, but also from the point of view of the available tourist infrastructure. The results show a lack of appreciation in the heritage criteria related to its architectural, historical and aesthetic values, combined with a lack of knowledge about Torroja and its way of understanding architectural beauty.