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Brion Cemetery in San Vito d'Altivole, Treviso

Concrete Luxury

29. 01. 16   :   The Epistle

Concrete has come a long way since its humble beginnings in ancient Rome as a raw building material. For many years associated with post-war modernism, at first glance it might seem an unlikely choice for luxury interiors. But its strength and durability, combined with new technologies and techniques that make it easier to work with, are encouraging more and more designers to look at it in a new light.

Concrete is a tactile material with depth and surprising versatility. Its surface can be textured or smooth; curved or flat; neutral or coloured; matt, waxed or polished. As practical as it is aesthetically pleasing, it can act as a structure or as a finish and doesn’t need adornment or decoration. A true 21st century material, it is the very definition of unfussy confidence.

It’s a real skill to listen to the space and allow it to intuitively shape the interior, ignoring the urge to ‘add’ and recognising that simplicity is sometimes the most effective solution.

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”
–Antoine de Saint-Exupéry–

The main reception at Project Elizabeth, with concrete doors closed
Project Elizabeth, 1508 London
1508's Project Elizabeth - main reception with concrete doors open
Project Elizabeth, 1508 London
Earth Seen From The Sky sink in varnished concrete by Pietra Danzare
Earth Seen From The Sky, Pietra Danzare
Volcanic Cream sink in varnished, antique matt concrete by Pietra Danzare
Volcanic Cream, Pietra Danzare
Brion Cemetery in San Vito d'Altivole, Treviso
Brion Cemetery, San Vito d’Altivole, Treviso. Photo by Antonio Trogu / CC BY-NC-ND
Brion Cemetery - photos of concrete structure
Brion Cemetery. Photos: San Vito D’Altivole (left) and ‘e cade su me che la prendo‘; both by Antonio Trogu / CC BY-NC-ND
Seam by Catherine Bertola - gold leaf in concrete
Seam (gold leaf in concrete, 2007), Catherine Bertola; image courtesy of the artist and Workplace Gallery
Omer Arbel concrete chair 8.0
Concrete chair 8.0, Omer Arbel
Concrete house in Portugal, designed by AABE
Rainha House, Portugal, AABE
An interior shot of the concrete Rainha House in Portugal
Rainha House, AABE
Interior and staircase of Rainha House
Rainha House, AABE
Aplomb suspension lights, Foscarini
Concrete floor with inlaid copper (?) at a Tokyo restaurant - designed by Daikei Mills
Pirouette restaurant, Tokyo, Daikei Mills
Part of the interior of Neues Museum in Berlin, designed by David Chipperfield
Neues Museum, Berlin, David Chipperfield Architects
Set of 3 Icon lamps and set of 3 bowls, all made from concrete by Katharina Eisenkoeck
Icon lamps and concrete bowls, Katharina Eisenkoeck