Posts Tagged ‘concrete’

Fernando Mastrangelo’s Drift Collection

Brooklyn-based artist Fernando Mastrangelo has unveiled the next additions to his ‘Drift’ collection with a range of glaciers and natural earth formations masquerading as furniture.

Mastrangelo uses materials such as salt, coffee, sand, glass and cement to cast strikingly sculptural objects. His Drift collection began with a not-so-humble bench made of sand and cement, which was exhibited during New York Design week and Collective Design Fair last year.

Now, further inspired by trips to Patagonia and the Grand Canyon, the collection has grown to include a sofa that is both ravishing and rugged in appearance. Like the Drift bench, it is made from sand and cement but is upholstered in luxurious velvet. It is joined by a coffee table also cast from sand and cement and ‘petra’ side tables in blue and pink. There is also a series of mirrors featuring a combination of stratified sand and steely glass.

The Patagonian landscape has inspired the subtle colour palette and Mastrangelo uses hand-dyed sand to reflect its ice-blue glaciers. The artist combines refined and polished elements with an unpredictable rugged surface to represent natural elements. The works are intriguingly contradictory – both raw and refined, durable and delicate, formal and functional.

The influence of the Grand Canyon is seen in the sand, which is cast in layers to create a delicate ombre effect. It recalls layers of earth and strata as the colours gradually blend from one hue to the next.

All designs in the Drift collection is handcrafted by Mastrangelo in his Brooklyn studio and are produced in very limited quantities. Each one represents an earthy inspiration.

Studio Ossidiana’s ‘Petrified Carpets’

Traditional Persian rugs have been given a solid edge by architecture and design practice Studio Ossidiana. Their ‘Petrified Carpets’ series was exhibited at the last Dutch Design Week and shows how concrete can take on the tactile qualities of a classic woven rug.

Studio Ossidiana was formed in 2015 by Alessandra Covini and Tomas Dirrix and is based in Rotterdam and Milan. The practice does not limit its work to architecture and explores various fields of design. Its name references the volcanic obsidian stone, which was used to make pottery and tools in ancient times.

The Petrified Carpets exhibition was inspired by the two-dimensional patterns found on traditional Persian rugs, including medallions, grids and frames. Covini and Dirrix saw these motifs as representing architectural elements found in Persian gardens, such as surrounding walls, central fountains and doorways. They used concrete to turn these motifs into tactile 3D objects.

The duo has described the exhibition as “a material study on the carpet as an architectural space, as a place embodying narratives, rituals and craftsmanship”.

Each object in the exhibition is crafted from concrete mixed with pigments, stone, sand and cement. The contours of Persian rugs are subtly referenced and the designs elevate this utilitarian material into vibrant pieces of art.

Studio Ossidiana collaborated with prefabricated concrete manufacturer Hurks for the installation and they experimented with different casting techniques to achieve the final result.

‘Petrified Carpets’ explores the possibilities of concrete in both an artistic and architectural context and brings a whole new dimension to the classic Persian rug.

Coexist Collection by Slash Objects

Marble, brass, concrete and industrial rubber form unexpected yet perfect combinations in the designs of Brooklyn-based studio Slash O­­­bjects. Motivated by a belief that there is harmony in difference, the studio mixes materials to create a bold sense of balance.

Slash Objects was launched in 2016 by multidisciplinary design firm Slash Projects, which works across architecture, product design, digital, web, and apps. The spin-off brand provides an opportunity for founder Arielle Assouline-Lichten to explore materials and form and Slash Objects was listed among Sight Unseen’s 2016 American Design Hotlist.

Its Coexist collection of furniture and object mixes brass, marble, concrete, ceramic and industrial rubber to create striking geometric forms. It includes a coffee table made from a slab of white venato marble that appears to balance on two brass cubes. The Askew side table features a cube of green marble that cantilevers off a brass cube base and the Slash standing mirror is a full-length design framed in brass that slots into a marble prism base.

“I love playing with materials and pushing their material boundaries,” Assouline-Lichten has said. “I also think that you can achieve a sense of harmony with a balance of difference – that you need a bit of foreignness in order to create something imperfectly whole.”

Slash Objects’ Coexist collection was recently shown at NYCxDesign. Assouline-Lichten also presented other designs during the event, such as a series of cylindrical stools made of concrete and brass and homeware designs, including coasters and placemats.

The studio will also be will be exhibiting at this year’s London Design Fair from 14-21 September. It’s sure to achieve a perfect sense of balance.

Concrete Pod by Kazuya Morita

Beauty meets ingenuity in an eggshell-thin concrete structure from Japanese architect Kazuya Morita.

The Concrete Pod is a masterpiece of technology and illustrates the versatility of concrete beyond its traditional application in building and construction.

The secret to the Concrete Pod is its combination of white cement, lightweight aggregate, straw fibre and glass fibre. The mixture was hand trowelled by plasterers using the tradition form of Japanese plastering, called sakan, onto a dome-shaped styrofoam mould.

Holes stud the structure and were created by attaching styrofoam rings to the master mould. Once the concrete was set, the mould was removed leaving a delicate yet remarkably strong egg shape.

It is a pod that invites quiet contemplation or child’s play. Light dappling through the perforations creates a subtle shadowing effect and a lyrical beauty.

The attention is in the detail – the concrete skin is a mere 15mm thick and has a height and diameter of 1.7metres, yet it is sturdy enough to invite someone inside and bear the weight.

Morita is a fan of the dome form, with many examples coming out of his studio in Osaka, including the Shelf-Pod, which features interlocking laminated pine-boards that slot together to form latticed shelving units that house an impressive number of books.

The Brick Pod Pavilion is another of Morita’s dome-like structures, which was created for the Changwon Sculpture Biennale 2012 held in Changwon city, South Korea. It uses some of the same techniques as the Concrete Pod with its delicate application of concrete to create ethereal qualities with light and shadow. It is another remarkable example of concrete design.

Corvi Wine and Champagne Coolers

Glasses are being raised around the globe in celebration of a sophisticated wine cooler that sees modern art matched with functionality.

The Corvi Wine and Champagne Coolers are a striking range of handcrafted concrete vessels that use an advanced casting method to maximise the strength and mass of concrete in a contemporary and slender form.

Designed by Argentinian-based Francisco Corvi for IntoConcrete, the concrete coolers are surprisingly lightweight. They are available in a range of colours, such as Arctic White and Graphite grey, and can be stacked on top of each other so you can create your own modern masterpiece in the form of a wine rack. This makes it hard to stop at just one.

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The inspiration for the stackable nature came at an early age for the designer, who says, “Every toy I had as a child was disassembled and assembled again using other things. This curiosity was my first design influence.”

After being placed in the freezer, the coolers remain chilled for many hours due to their mass and add a sleek elegance to any social gathering. Clean, sharp planes give them a jewel-like quality and their smooth surface is minimalist and edgy.

The rule of thumb is to serve white wine at 7-12˚C and concrete is the ideal material for maintaining the ideal temperate. We’ll drink to that!

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Habitat terrazzo trivet by Sly

When Melbourne-based designer Lauren Finks launched her Sly brand in 2013, her focus was on screen-printed fabrics. Now she’s expanded her collection to include a range of elegant homewares, including the Habitat terrazzo trivet set made from luxurious Fibonacci Stone.

Sly embodies Lauren’s belief that the simple pleasures in life can inspire beautiful product designs. She draws on her love of Scandinavian and modernist design and adds a touch of Australia flavour throughout her collection, which includes cushions made of linen, velvet and felt, tea towels, soy candles and trays made from powder-coated steel and birch play.

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The Habitat four-piece terrazzo trivet set is made from Fibonacci Stone and features a spectrum of blue-brown tones that range from pale powder blues through to dark matte browns. As terrazzo is blended from natural materials and minerals, the colour of the terrazzo trivets has a natural variation that adds character to these stylish home accessories.

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Each beautifully textured trivet has a polished top has a rubber bumper on the base to protect surfaces from scratching. They can be used as individual coasters or grouped together to create a larger trivet.

The Sly brand was created in Melbourne and Lauren is committed to using local materials and processes wherever she can. In keeping with the local flavour, Sly will be exhibiting at this year’s DENFair.

We’ll be there to take a closer look!


Styling @beksheppard

Photography @annetteobrien

Pettersen & Hein invite you HOME

A home has many functions – a physical shelter, a place of personal expression and a refuge from daily life outside. But what if a home’s function could be stripped away and its contents – such as chairs, tables and lights – became works of art rather than objects with a practical purpose?

This question has been posed by Danish design duo Pettersen & Hein in their latest exhibition, Home, at Etage Projects gallery in Copenhagen. Lea Hein and Magnus Pettersen are renowned for transforming everyday objects into beautiful sculptures and their Home exhibition plays with notions of what we call furniture.

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The exhibition features a floor of striking multi-coloured concrete tiles and a series of sculptural abstract forms. There are rough-cut concrete vases, conceptual side tables and polished steel chairs that reflect both the tiled floor and the other objects in the exhibition. “The floor becomes alive and the surrounding furniture becomes like people in your ‘home’,” the design duo explains of the mirrored pieces.

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Hein is a furniture designer and maker and Pettersen is an artist and a graduate from Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen who is recognised for his concrete sculptures. Despite their different backgrounds, their collaborations have garnered attention around the world. “When boundaries between design and art are effaced, potential for magic occurs,” they’ve said. “When working in the space between art and design you are free from restrictions, there are no rules. Having fewer limitations allows you to work experimentally.”

HOME pays homage to material, colour and form rather than functional use and presents a different perspective on the objects that reside between our four walls.

All Photography by  David Stjerneholm

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Scroll Ice Cream by Studio Twocan & One Design Office

If Scroll Ice Cream’s sweet icy treats weren’t tempting enough, its new flagship store looks good enough to eat. Its pigmented concrete bar is inspired by the layers of flavours and fruits that go into a serve of Scroll ice cream. Who would have thought a solid material like concrete could look so soft and appetizing?

Scroll is Melbourne’s first Thai cold-plate ice creamery – think of liquid ice cream poured onto a sub-zero tepenyaki plate, refrozen flat and then rolled with a blade to create delicious scrolls.

Scroll engaged Melbourne architecture practice One Design Office to create the design for their flagship store. The architects explain that they wanted an ‘ice-cream-like’ material that was fresh, fun, organic, durable and structural. “It led us to think … what if we could mix colours into poured concrete?”

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One Design Office worked alongside bespoke construction company Twig and Co and Studio Twocan to bring the multicoloured design to life. Vibrantly coloured concrete batches were mixed on site before being poured into a framework mould.

Studio Twocan have already captured out attention for their beautiful layered ‘cement ceramic’ designs. Sisters Maddie and Becc Sharrock colour the cement using pigment to create an organic layering inspired by Australian landscapes. In the case of the Scroll flagship store, their colour inspiration was drawn from fruity ice cream flavours.

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One Design Office and Studio Twocan told Dezeen: “The monolithic façade of Scroll Ice Cream’s flagship store stands out in a crowd. The design looks to encapsulate both the product and manufacturing process of mixing icy layers of flavours and fruits.”

We love how the design gives this rock-hard substrate material a sense of fluidity and softness. It’s a solid design – and it looks tasty, too!



Middletown Café by Studio Tate

Middletown Café by Studio Tate may be inspired by a Duchess but we think it’s fit for a Queen.

Located in Prahran, the café has an elegant design that brings to life Kate Middleton’s journey from the English countryside to the royal court – and Fibonacci Stone terrazzo tiles are featured among this esteemed interior.

Studio Tate collaborated with graphic design studio Pop + Pac and worked closely with their clients, who regard the Duchess of Cambridge as a ‘modern muse’.

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The interior draws on royal references while also embodying the unpretentious style that Kate brings to her role of Duchess. There’s a nod to the old and the new, which can be seen in the choice of contemporary terrazzo tiles laid in a traditional checkerboard pattern.

Fibonacci Stone_Studio Tate_Middletown_05Studio Tate chose Fibonacci Stone Platinum and Steel terrazzo tiles, which contrast beautifully in the checkerboard style. Platinum’s fine grain and neutral palette of warm greys and beige complement the bold blue-grey tones of the Steel tiles and both work beautifully with the overall palette of Middletown Café.

Fibonacci Stone_Studio Tate_Middletown_03The material palette includes stone, metal and timber. Royal blue is the dominant colour, along with accents of brass, feminine pastel pink and white.

We think the Duchess would approve.

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Brutalism drives terrazzo up the walls

As the raw, textural aesthetic of Brutalism makes its return to architectural and interior trends, were excited to see how designers are finding new ways to introducing stone into interior environments.

Terrazzo tiles have always been a great choice for beautiful, durable flooring – but with this new source of inspiration its rich, textural finish is now making it an attractive alternative to traditional wall coverings.

Fortunately our terrazzo tiles are perfectly suited for use on walls as they are designed to be exceptionally thin and light. This means they can be used either as striking feature panels or in concert with flooring to complete a timeless interior scheme.

Recent projects by interior designers, such as Melbourne’s David Flack of Flack Studio, are among a leading group of designers setting the trend for terrazzo on walls. Flack’s Bendigo residence project combines finely handcrafted joinery with our Storm terrazzo tiles, which feature across floors and walls.

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Maria Danos Architecture is another design firm to recognise the beauty of terrazzo beyond flooring. The selection of our Earth terrazzo tiles for feature wall panels at Mister + Miss Café in Melbourne’s Mont Albert added a warmth and texture to the overall design – and is super delicious of course!

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It’s exciting to see how the timeless appeal of terrazzo tiles spreads from floors to walls and we’re looking forward to where it develops.