Oscar Niemeyer loved it.
Le Courbusier adored it.
Frank Lloyd Wright trusted it with his life.
You have probably guessed by now, that I am talking about the CONCRETE.
When discovered, constructions, that were before unimaginable, suddenly become possible. ‘Artificial stone’ that revolutionized the way we build – and with it, it revolutionized architecture as well.
From the very beginning, its raw aesthetics attracted architects and builders.
And regardless of the facts, that the revolution is long since over, the affection toward concrete’s raw beauty remains very much alive.
For a long time I wanted to implement a raw, visible concrete element into some of my building. Nevertheless what I learned was, that in this case it takes four to tango.
A passionate architect, a suitable project, an aestheticaly enlightened client and a contractor willing and capable of making it happen.
Finally all that fell into place with a project of House R where a massive concrete block would incorporate a fireplace with some space for firewood and a dinning room cabinet on teh other side.
With a concrete dried and formwork removed, a beautiful surface structure has been revealed.
One could almost touch the tension that was in the air, while we throughly inspected the surface for potential flaws. It was clear that there would be no second chance. Would we find some mayor outer structure damage, it would inevitably mean that some covering would had to be applied and dreams of a raw concrete aesthetic abandoned.
After the house would be constructed around it, there would be almost no way to bring an element of tat size and weight into place. A concrete fireplace therefore become a first interior piece inside the not-yet-existing building.
Steve Jobs insisted that, although it would never been visible, the inside of Apple computers is designed as carefully as their outside appearance. That approach has always been something I highly praised at my Macs and I strive to implement that approach in my buildings as well.
Last chance to see – the inner side of the concrete fireplace.
Since for the next three months there would be intense construction activity around our first interior piece. With so many contractors working around it, one could only assume, that even better protection would be needed in order to preserve this delicate piece of art.
Two out of four – a contractor and a client.
One is a joy to work with and one a joy to work for!
It is a true privilege!