May 3, 2010

cement! I love it!

There is something so beautiful about this basic, raw looking material. Cement, concrete. I just love it! Despite many consider grey a dull colour, I couldn't disagree more. One must also remember that there are many shades of grey and that it can either have a hint of a hotter colour like red or orange, or a colder colour like blue or purple. I feel that grey is quite neutral and creates a perfect canvas for other more spectacular colours. The combination of concrete and a dark wood is amazing. I think that concrete, due to its somewhat industrial look fits well in kitchens and bathrooms. Polished concrete can be used as benchtops instead of expensive marble or stone, or for a floor. Concrete is also great for creating a unique piece of furniture or space due to the fact that one can create a unique mould for each piece! Bathtubs, sinks, benchtops, benches, ponds, etc can all be created in an own personal style. Here are some examples of both complete buildings, spaces and single items that have cement as its main material.

Tadao Ando - Church of the Light.
Nobody can make concrete look as spiritual as Tadao Ando. This is just one of many
examples of his work. The only place where the light enters this chapel is through the cross shaped opening near the altar, giving an extremely spiritual feeling. Also the cross seems to crack the walls of the chapel (where the concrete blocks meet).

This is a simple example of a kitchen benchtop. The main reason I inserted this example was in order to show that by integrating pieces of smaller stone in the cement, one can create a more dimensional surface.

The example here to the left is in order to show how concrete combines well with a rough old brick giving an industrial kind of feel.

This sink named mvura (water) is designed by helena otzen + johannes steinbeck + ben braun from Germany.
This is a great example of how the concrete has been shaped creating a soft, unique and also practical item.

Verdickt & Verdickt Architecten, Belgium.

This is a beautiful example of how concrete can be integrated in an industrial style loft. Structure in
aluminium, white painted walls, an old rough wooden table, modern chairs and a few colourful items (in this case a lamp, but could easily be chairs, a vase, a sofa, etc.)