November 6, 2012

We want to talk about concrete. “Oh,” I hear you cry, “that’s about as exciting as watching paint dry.”
But, gentle reader, we beg to differ. As does Pina Petricone, the editor of the very excellent Concrete Ideas, recently published by Thames & Hudson. Petricone is determined to place concrete back on the architectural pedestal Le Corbusier had elevated it to, but from which it had so clunkily dropped from the 1970s onwards when less visionary architects and less skilled technicians drove its value through the floor. This collection of essays – including the fascinating ‘Current Concrete Nano-technologies’
by genius theorist and practitioner Jürgen Mayer H really struck a chord here at Tobias Partners as we tackle what, we think, will be one of our benchmark projects, in North Bondi.

Difficulty of access to the Ramsgate Avenue site, as well as the fact that it is in a Salt Zone 1 environment, bolstered our decision to opt for an off-form concrete structure. Coherent with our philosophy of creating buildings that are authentic, timeless and truly connected to their context,
off-form concrete is a simple, honest and raw approach. The structure is the building and the finish – and much like the rocks and cliffs that surround it, the concrete will patina and age in a natural and beautiful way.

As Petricone puts it, “Concrete doesn’t lie. It captures, registers then exposes the minutia of detail and texture of the interior of its form, offering for Modernist architecture the requisite uncovered ‘nakedness’ and therefore moral ‘honesty’ to represent the inhibitions of the movement.”

Next post, we’ll talk to you about paint 😉

Author: Nick tobias