We've been crushing on concrete for a while now. Such weight, such gravitas, so solid and dependable. Sometimes polished and smooth, sometimes sumptuous and curvy, sometimes rough and raw, concrete is a versatile and sexy beast. Concrete can offer so much more than just a polished floor...
A concrete truck arrives at your home and pumps its magical grey-matter into the formwork for your new concrete house of dreams. But, oftentimes, some of that liquid gold is left in the barrel at the end of the pour. You can't simply leave it in the truck (we've seen how that ends in that episode of Myth Busters) or pour it down the drain, so what happens to it? Believe it or not, it's poured into one-tonne bricks that look a lot like giant monochrome lego blocks.
At Sawmill House, what would normally go to waste - those one-tonne blocks - have been turned into a stunning home which looks like it's been roughly hewn from stone, but nope, it's concrete!
Inside, its texture feels rustic and homely when combined with timber and brass.
At Glebe House, off-form concrete is both heavy and light. See how it seems to float above the glass here like it's freaking levitating? Such skill. Granted, a lot of effort went into making this look so effortless, but still, think of the possibilities...
It's even exposed in the bathroom, which is quite the sensual massage for the eyeballs.
Concrete again proves its ability to go above and beyond at The Leaf House, where the concrete is both floor and ceiling. Pictured here with concrete's best friend, rusting steel, the pair make a stunning couple.
When precast, concrete can be a solution in tight, urban sites or sites with difficult access. The panels arrive and can be quickly assembled for a fast, durable shell like this precast concrete home in Sydney.
Concrete can also be sculptural and playful, moulding into any shape imaginable, like the curved lines of this home in the rainforest of Queensland.
When formed with textural shuttering like grainy timber or corrugated iron, concrete reveals its chameleon-like properties, taking on the texture of the shuttering, but with its own rock-solid strength, solidity and permanence.
In spite of its hard appearance, concrete can have a sentimental side too. Here's an example where the remnants of a shed on the site were used to imbue this Albert Park home with a sense of history and nostalgia.
Even useful for benchtops, concrete revels in its own hard-wearing versatility.