The concrete is an emerging fashion! Remember the concrete USB Flash Drive, which looked heavily out-of-the-box? Now, imagine a Coffee Machine made of cement. Well, it does exist, and looks mystically enigmatic. Israeli design student Schmuel Linkski came up with this concrete-encased Lavazza unit, which makes a bold description of the appliance’s durability. Linkski explains his vision behind why concrete, “Concrete in the kitchen, not only as a wall or decorative part, I wanted it to be a desirable consumer product.” But, wouldn’t it be too heavy to handle, and one doesn’t except it to be just a decorative item. What’s your take?”
"The new MUMUTH Music Theatre, designed by Ben van Berkel of the renowned Dutch architecture firm UNStudio following an international competition with 212 entries, has already formed the Austrian contribution to the Venice Biennale of Architecture. The free-flowing space of the foyer is made possible by a spiraling constructive element that connects the entrance to the auditorium and to the music rooms above, thus welding together ‘with a twist’ the three levels of this side of the building. The twist is in fact a massive concrete construction which was one of the most challenging we ever realized – more difficult to achieve even than the twists in our recently completed museum for Mercedes-Benz. The dimensions of this particular twist necessitated far greater precision and the use of self compacting concrete which was pumped up from below instead of poured down from above as is the usual method.”
"A total of 3,250,000 cubic yards (2,480,000 m3) of concrete was used in the Hoover dam before concrete pouring ceased on May 29, 1935. In addition, 1,110,000 cubic yards (850,000 m3) were used in the power plant and other works. More than 582 miles (937 km) of cooling pipes were placed within the concrete. Overall, there is enough concrete in the dam to pave a two-lane highway from San Francisco to New York. Concrete cores were removed from the dam for testing in 1995; they showed that “Hoover Dam’s concrete has continued to slowly gain strength” and the dam is composed of a “durable concrete having a compressive strength exceeding the range typically found in normal mass concrete.”
"Foster+Partners has designed a dining table named Arc, inspired by the temporary fabric structures, which are increasingly used in contemporary architectural design, and here shape the base of this soft, fluid table. The base, made of an innovative material composed by cement and organic fibre, is resistant and elastic at the same time, and lends itself to complex structures. It is also waterproof, and the mass-coloured base in white and two tones of grey, ensures the colour stays fresh throughout its lifespan. These materials allow outdoor usage.”
"Arguably the most interesting aspects of the church are found in the methods of construction, beginning with a wigwam made of 112 tree trunks. Upon completion of the frame, layers of concrete were poured and rammed atop the existing surface, each around 50cm thick. When the concrete of all 24 layers had set, the wooden frame was set on fire, leaving behind a hollowed blackened cavity and charred walls."
"Concrete Cloth’s groundbreaking cement impregnated flexible fabric technology, which allows it to be quickly and easily molded and set into shapes, is a natural choice for 2009′s winner. “With the simple addition of water, Concrete Cloth makes it possible to create safe, durable, non-combustible structures for a wide range of commercial, military and humanitarian uses,” says Dr. Andrew H. Dent, Vice President, Library & Materials Research at Material ConneXion. “This innovation is especially remarkable for enabling the construction of rapidly deployable shelter and food storage structures in disaster relief situations,” Dent adds."
"This special concrete allows light to pass through. It contains optical fibers that make up about 5% of its surface area. The fibers are distributed uniformly throughout the surface to allow an outline to be clearly visible on the other side. The material is made with a combination of optical fibers and fine concrete. It can be produced as prefabricated building blocks. Due to the small size of the fibers, they blend into concrete and become a component of the material like small pieces of aggregate. The result is a new material, which is homogeneous in both its inner structure and its surfaces.”
"The Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, is an independent, non-profit, scientific research institute. Since the 1960’s, the institute is located in this complex, consisting of two symmetrical buildings with a stream of water flowing in the middle. The Salk Institute is one of the few buildings realized by Louis Kahn. It is still one of the most astonishing buildings on the west coast and since has become part of architectural history."
"Setting a minimalist accent, this set of four hand-made bowls presents an apparently everyday material in a new context. The bowls have a mobile quality; playing with the usual cliché of the hard rigidity and weight of concrete; they can rock back and forth, while drawing their stability from the increasing wall thickness towards the base."