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Designer: 25togo The City Rain Concrete Glass is a labor of love, really! It’s not only a scientific process of mixing the right amount of concrete (calculating the percentage of admixture), keeping the cement wet and painstakingly handcrafting the set. It’s also nurturing each piece for almost a week, coz that’s how long it takes to manufacture them. Now why would someone go through these labor pains, one may ask? It’s so that you get the feel of “wet street and glass window”, just for kicks! It’s eyecandy as well!


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Straw bales provide very good heat insulations and have low embodied energy. Lime Plaster is used in straw bale constructions as a structural element and as fire protection. Here's a video of the application http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TdL2ZbrzVw&;feature=player_embedded and the webs http://simpleconstruct.net/


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Details from two projects by star/chitects Herzong + de Meuron spanning over 10 years, show the architects interest and focus on taking the everyday material and removing the 'default' from it. In one article that references this type of treatment they investigate ways of being sensitive with materials (http://goo.gl/xb1It) - this is a pretty interesting article and worth further reading.Of course there are many practices that attempt to 'treat' or adjust the surface of strong/durable/tough materials, but I think that these show a subtlety and a delicacy which is amazing.L


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This chair is part of a collection created by Dutch designers Tejo Remy & RenĂŠ Veenhuizen. 'They have been cast inside plastic sheeting and reinforced with steel rods and metal fibres. Once assembled, the molds are placed upside down and concrete is poured into the feet. The legs are steel reinforced and the concrete itself contains small metal fibers that add stability. Within two days the works are solid enough for the mold to be cut off; and, within two weeks, the furniture is completely dry.'http://www.dezeen.com/2010/03/18/concrete-chair-by-tejo-remy-reneeveenhuizen/I chose this image because i was 'tricked' in an amazing way. It is shocking how our mind makes associations with things around us and when they are seen in a different context they seem unreal. In this case a material as hard and as cold as concrete is formed in a way which seems soft and inviting to the eye. I think it is interesting to push the boundaries of what materials can do and to be perceived in different ways.


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This chair is made by Danish designers (Komplot) for a Swedish furniture company. This is one in their series entitled Concrete Things. The chairs are made from hollowed concrete blocks that they then put a grid on. I like how this chair has a curvilinear shape without completely losing the "standard block-like" shape of cast concrete. This concrete chair has some back support and I would find it interesting to have these chairs in parks alongside concrete benches in order to add some variety and comfort. Their chair shows the ways in which you can transform the shape of concrete.


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In 2004 Austrian architect Andreas Strauss created this interesting hotel. The rooms are repurposed concrete drain pipes segments laying on the grass in a park in the Austrian city of Ottensheim. Visitors receive a code to unlock the door to their pipe, and inside they find a double bed (with storage space underneath), a light, a single electrical outlet, and a small window. The thick cement keeps the interior comfortable and eliminates noise from outside, creating a secure-feeling environment. All other hostelry devices (toilets, showers, minibar, cafe, swimming pool, etc) are supplied by the surrounding public space, thus granting a "pay as you wish" policy. What sounds a bit spartanic is in fact a very comfortable housing: the concrete pipes are more than two meters in diameter, the double bed in it is more than cosy and the thick concrete walls are cool on hot days and isolate in fresh Austrian summer nights. The pipes, which weight 9,5 tonnes each, are incredibly robust, they need little maintenance and alteration to make them habitable - a coat of varnish is all that is necessary. The tubes have also received wall paintings by Austrian artist Thomas Latzel Ochoa to make them a little more user friendly.


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This is the case with Casa Fez, a new house in Porto, Portugal, designed by architect Ă lvaro Leite Siza Vieira.The casted-shaped plaster ceiling exposes the concrete slab, exposing the material in their "natural" state.


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The patterns on the surface of the archive result from the contrast between the fair-face concrete surface and the aggregate of the exposed surface. The Graphic Concrete technology involves applying a surface retarder to a special membrane in order to slow the hardening of the concrete in certain areas. After the membrane is spread on the mold, the concrete is cast on it. The next day, the concrete element is lifted into an upright position and the membrane is removed. The unset, softer concrete surface is then high-pressure washed, revealing the fine aggregate finish of the design. The concrete for this project, a black aggregate with white cement, is commonly used in Finland. While normally the patterns are “washed visible,� the team reversed the process, washing the background visible.Jutta Telivuo communication and marketing for Graphic Concrete. www.graphicconcrete.com


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This cubic stool is cast plaster and embellished with crystals. According to the designer the application of the crystals was a challenge and they had to be entirely integrated into the piece.I love the way the crystals are so highly engineered, precise and perfect but appear in the imperfect moment of the broken corner. The crystal- sprinkled corner elaborates the simple plaster cube.


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A UK based company called Concrete Canvas has released the lastest addition of concrete-hybrid utilities: the concrete canvas shelter. It is a heavy duty shelter that requires only water and air for its construction, and could be shaped into a desirable shape. The material will harden upon contact with water to form a thin and durable waterproof, fireproof and potentially bulletproof shelter. Concrete Canvashttp://www.concretecanvas.org .uk


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A transparent cement named i.light from Italian manufacturer Bergamo-under Italcementi Groupimages: Italian Pavilion for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo*saves energy; allowing the natural light sources*non constructionalBergamo-Italcementi Grouphttp://www.italcementigroup.com/ENG


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Not one of the most obscure pieces of architecture I could have chosen, but surely one of the most incredible: Corbusier's Chapel in Ronchamp, France.The massive walls and massive concrete roof (modeled after an airfoil design) are sculpted into delicate and organic forms, continuously curving and creating natural geometries. He wanted to build a chapel that "gave to the 4 horizons, and received from the 4 horizons."This image was taken by Lucien Herve and found at: historyofourworld.wordpress.com


"The environmentally dedicated and innovative team at Gore Design brings a new twist to custom, recycled concrete sink design with their Signature Erosion Sink.Gore Design creative team is also proud of their commitment to sustainability. All of the pigments used in the creation of their custom, recycled concrete sinks are completely free of heavy metals and all sealers are water-based. Recycled materials and industrial byproducts, such as fly ash, are put to good use as well. In addition, they have eliminated industry standard water polishing in favor of dry polishing to save over 600 gallons of water per average project. The company notes; “..,we know that working green doesn’t mean we have to compromise the quality or artistry of our products”

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