Tag Archives: Concrete Homes

Concrete Architecture: The Sandcastle In Point Chevalier, New Zealand

As an architectural house, The Sandcastle by Ponting Fitzgerald Architects champions the creative and structural benefits of concrete. Inspired by a sandcastle and built by Bannan Construction, the sculptural building is firmly established within its coastal context.

00:00 – An Introduction to the Architectural House 00:53 – Creating a Sandcastle 01:19 – Entering the House 02:06 – Building for the Coastal Climate 02:32 – A Unique Use of Concrete 03:37 – Materiality 04:07 – Lighting in the House 04:25 – Unique Qualities of the House 05:00 – What the Builder is Most Proud Of

Built within the inner harbour zone of Point Chevalier, The Sandcastle is situated directly above the shore. Sitting on a bluff of land that resembles a sand dune in constitution, the three-storey concrete home is conceived as an architectural house that naturally extends from the surrounding landscape. A house tour of The Sandcastle evidences its status as an architectural house, with the form of the building representing a playful yet sophisticated interpretation of a sandcastle. Concrete plays an important role in realising the shape of the home, offering endless formal possibilities in its pre-set, liquid state. Ponting Fitzgerald Architects crafts a dynamic materiality that withstands the erosive coastal climate. Although the concrete exterior interacts with the salt, wind and water of the environment – gracefully expressing the passage of time through a weather-beaten appearance – The Sandcastle maintains its structural integrity, establishing itself as an architectural house embedded in the landscape. With the help of Bannan Construction, Ponting Fitzgerald Architects creates an architectural house that is both rugged in nature and refined in form and concept. The Sandcastle stands as an enduring aspect of the coast; a solid piece of architecture, made in recognition of place.

Architecture: Hopetoun In Melbourne, Australia

A solid concrete dwelling, The Hopetoun is a luxury super house, complete with a tennis court and sleek garage. Meticulously designed by FGR Architects, the new build combines architecture, lighting and textural detail to reveal internal spaces of surprising delicacy.

Video Timeline: 00:27 – Entering the Super House 01:21 – Minimalist Architecture 01:57 – Connection Between Spaces 02:19 – Positioning the House 02:59 – Lighting in the House 03:40 – Concrete Architecture 04:37 – Utilising Stone and Timber 04:54 – Breaking Tradition

Located in the leafy Melbourne suburb of Toorak, The Hopetoun is a super house designed to accommodate a large family. Situated on the corner of a road, the house is crafted to dramatically embrace the breadth of its site, presenting a broad and expansive façade to the street. A house tour of the property sheds light on the layout of the super house, carefully planned by the architect.

FGR Architects configures the home to maximise solar penetration via the northern aspect, fitting the sunlit side of the house with ample glazing and arranging the internal spaces to reflect the need for natural light. Whilst the southern orientation houses utilities and services, the northern counterpart is occupied by the most frequently habited rooms. A sculptural set of stairs forms the highlight of the interior design. FGR Architects uses lighting to express the structural prowess of the concrete super house, including the implemented overhangs within the architecture.

The delicate interaction between the undulating texture of the concrete walls and the warm wash of artificial light presents lighting almost as a material in itself, equal amongst the concrete, glass, stone and timber. Utilising the refined nature of concrete in relation to light, FGR Architects is able to create a sophisticated super house that possesses the robust material character to age elegantly through time. 00:00 – Introduction to the Super House

Architecture: Otsu House In Casuarina, Australia

A modern-day dream home, Otsu House is a refreshing and timeless exploration of texture, material and light. The site’s proximity to the beach called for a pared back and neutral colour palette, filling the internal spaces with warmth and reflective character.

Video Timeline: 00:00 – Introduction to the House 00:29 – Design Influenced by the Environment 01:04 – Designing for Light and Airflow 01:25 – Concrete and Clay Finishes 02:57 – The Courtyard 03:15 – Neutral Colour Palette 03:40 – Landscaping and Pool Design 04:10 – Helical Staircase 04:53 – Ensuite Bathroom Features 05:18 – Concrete Kitchen Bench 05:36 – Successful Partnership

With easy access to the beach, it was important that the materials used within the structure were able to be self-maintained and endure the harsh Australian climate and beachside environment.

The dream home embraces open spaces, reminiscent of the nearby ocean. A continued theme of open space is felt throughout the house and is extended out towards the garden. The entryway is greeted with a void and an enticing sculptural staircase. Feeling as though it evolved out of the ground, the staircase draws the eye inward and up to the second level. The curve of the stairs reflects the textured clay render, Rockcote Japanese Otsumigaki, used throughout the interior and evokes a visual connection to ocean waves.

The Otsumigaki is both subtle and reflective, interacting with natural light and giving forth a lustre that is completely distinctive to the interior space. The raw nature of the Japanese clay and concrete used throughout the dream home acts as a significant connection to the beachfront. The textured material brings with it a warmth whilst also an endurance to the elements, specifically the salt from the ocean and the strength of the Australian sun.

Concrete is also used in the home’s ceiling, allowing for both thermal and noise barriers within the interior spaces. The material is also used in the kitchen bench and is in keeping with the natural, neutral colour palette present within the dream home. Otsu House also features a courtyard space, acting as both a lightwell and a visual connection for the downstairs rooms. The doors are able to be opened to allow a breeze to flow throughout the dream home, creating patterns with light and shadows. The linen curtains soften the raw concrete throughout and provide a delicate balance within the natural material palette.

Modern Homes: Bunkeren In Newcastle, Australia

Crafted by James Stockwell Architect, Bunkeren could be the best modern house in the world. Considered more landscape than building, the concrete dwelling is a robust insertion within the surrounding natural context. Embedded into a rocky forest edge just south of Newcastle,

Video Timeline: 00:00 – Introduction to the Best Modern House in the World 00:40 – The Concept 01:30 – Designing for Family and the Landscape 02:09 – House Inspired by Danish Design 02:25 – Intimate Spaces 02:44 – Bunker within the Landscape 03:20 – Benefits of a Concrete Bunker House 04:20 – Bringing Natural Light into the House 04:55 – The Cellar 05:30 – Materiality 06:12 – Indoor-Outdoor Living 07:05 – Highlights of the House 07:28 – The Architect’s Favourite Part of the House

Bunkeren sits on the land of the Awabakal people. Externally, the building is reminiscent of the inspiring botanical garden that once occupied the location in the late 1800s; sprouting greenery covers the top of floating concrete platforms where, beneath, the internal spaces are held. A sense of architectural freedom is permitted by minimising necessary supporting columns and removing the need for load-bearing walls, lending structural significance and an impressive silhouette to what is considered the best modern house in the world.

A house tour of Bunkeren – named according to the Danish translation of ‘bunker’ – reveals the negotiated peaks and pitfalls of the bunker configuration. In materiality and position, the home expresses a reassuring invulnerability; partly shielded by the rocky landscape and comprised of concrete, Bunkeren can retain its structural integrity in the event of a bushfire or storm. Crafted by the architect to be low maintenance, the home does not require painting and cannot be eroded by mould or termites. The enveloping botanical element of the design supports the forest ecosystem and microclimates by interacting with natural species. James Stockwell Architect designs the interior to combat the limited natural light and ventilation associated with the architecture of a traditional bunker. Skylights and an internal garden draw light into the underground aspects of the home in an aesthetically engaging manner, whilst the elevated nature of the concrete platforms allows space for fresh air to travel through the dwelling. The interior design of Bunkeren contributes to its potential as the best modern house in the world. Whilst utilising the work of local artists, James Stockwell Architect also takes care to reflect the influence of Danish design culture in consideration of the homeowners’ lifestyle. In application of the Danish principle of proportion, all decoration is scaled to human level, emphasising the togetherness of the family unit. The design also champions the Danish furniture inherited by the homeowners. A restrained approach to styling sees each space defined by a sense of intimacy, with the absence of elaborate ornamentation establishing an unimposing, experientially gentle atmosphere. The most unique aspect of the home – through which James Stockwell Architects proposes Bunkeren as the best modern house in the world – is the cellar, situated at the lowest level. Inside the space, the rock into which the residence is settled within is left exposed, providing visual drama, natural tactility and a reflection of the external environment, blurring the line between the home and landscape. Warmed by the additional materials of wood, concrete and brass, the cellar exudes individuality. In 20 years, the foliage surrounding Bunkeren will have grown, until the building cannot be clearly distinguished from its natural context. It is this foresight that allows Bunkeren to be considered the best modern house in the world.

Top Architecture: ‘Casa Odyssia’, Island Of Corfu By KRAK. Architects (2020)

The architectural office konstantinos stathopoulos KRAK. architects,
participated in the 10th Biennale of Young Architects, with an impressive holiday home, named Casa Odyssia, located in the northeastern part of the island of Corfu, in a lush landscape, with intense relief and at an altitude of 250 meters, where the user as a modern Odysseus.

In search of Ithaca; the mythical Odysseus, washed naked on the island of Phaeacus, today’s Corfu. There, Nafsika, the king’s daughter, surrounded him and led him to her father’s palace, where he received the hospitality and supplies to return to Ithaca.

The house, like a seed in the ground, grows, finding space, among the other forces of the place, the trees, the rocks; in search of the best view, the sun, the good orientation.

Read more

Innovative Architecture: ‘Single-Story’ High-Tech Concrete Home In East Sussex, England (Video)

Professional deep-sea diver Adrian Corrigall and his wife Megan plan to build their new family home in rural East Sussex almost entirely out of concrete, with construction involving cutting-edge technologies conceived in Switzerland and never used to build a house before. However, the perils of being a pioneer soon become evident, and with both schedule and budget under strain, Adrian is forced to resume work as a diver, taking him away from the project for a month at a time.