Today, concrete is still defined as uncharacteristic, but are we really aware of its potential and what it can look like in the end? Here are some examples. Surprising, isn’t it?
Serralves House, Porto
For many years the use of fair-faced concrete in building construction was always regarded, in general, with some resistance. Through some research, one can find several articles that address, as a negative point, the cold and circumspect aspect of this material. That is, although the potentiality of concrete was recognized, both for its strength and the possibility of building large spans, there was always some objection to its use. We can even say that it was recognized as an engineers’ material, used mainly in bridges and warehouse roofs.
In the early twentieth century, curiously, Marques da Silva, considered one of the greatest references of Portuguese architecture, composed, in the Serralves House, in Porto, the concrete structure, however, still not convinced of its appearance, ended up imitating it with traditional masonry.
Graber House, Project by Architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha
There are countless works that are victims of this resistance, however, I believe that after the visit, in 1925, to the fair in Paris called the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts, along with the beginning of the modern movement in Portugal, fed by the obsession of having an architectural image similar to other more modern cities, our architects were convinced about the affirmation of concrete. Since then there were several works where this material was assumed.
Today, although concrete in some countries, such as Brazil, is highly used and dominated, in Portugal, surprisingly, it still seems not to have totally convinced.
Graber wing, Project by Architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha
Waterfall House, Frank Lloyd Wright
House in S. Paulo, by Studio MK27 Architects
House in France, by Studio MK27 Architects
Nowadays it is still defined as uncharacteristic, but do we really have a perfect understanding of its potential and the final look it can result in? Here are some examples.
Surprising, isn’t it? Its impact is easily felt and I can’t believe that even after seeing these images there is so much resistance to the use of concrete. As it happened in the field of other arts, modern architecture has changed the aesthetic principles by combining concrete, rolled steel, wood and large glass in its structural system. Perfect macth, I would say! More daring, irreverent, durable, and flexible designs emerged, which easily blend in with the surrounding environment, thus enabling a better use of natural resources.
Thinking about interiors, it is a material that works super well, providing a great conceptual and aesthetic freedom, especially for its ability to combine natural elements… all we need to do is to give free rein to our imagination and creative spirit! Let’s be daring!