Recent projects by architects in Dublin and Barcelona are giving exposed concrete flooring and walls a new image by using them to striking effect.
Donal Colfer, an architect has received an excellence award from the Irish Concrete Society, champions the cause of using exposed concrete in the buildings he designs.
In cities, many people live in converted industrial buildings and these often have original exposed concrete features. This, according to Colfer, has led to the acceptance of exposed concrete features to the point where many designer homes now feature the material.
Speaking to the Irish Independent, Colfer said:
“Clients now see what an exciting and versatile material concrete can be.”
He cites the Berkeley Library in Dublin’s Trinity College as one of the best examples of the modem use of exposed concrete, stating:
“The board-marked concrete planes in the reading rooms provides a texture, which catches natural light from above resulting in the visitor experiencing an extraordinary sense of comfort or belonging in a wonderful silent space.”
In Barcelona, there are several hotels that have exposed concrete floors and these are amongst the city’s trendiest hotels. The Hotel Brummell, with its concrete floors and dark grey aluminium window frames, attracts many style-conscience visitors. Another fashionable hotel is the Casa Bonay, which features an embossed concrete floor.
The goings-on in these two major European cities indicate that concrete is not just a functional material, but is also rapidly becoming a trendy feature in modern architectural projects.
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