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13 August 2021
Extremely versatile and recognizable, concrete is also a material to explore for furniture and accessories
Concrete is a material historically associated with construction, a sector for which it has represented an unparalleled evolution. Always appreciated for its efficiency and practicality, it has only recently been rediscovered for its aesthetics that has conquered designers and users, giving life to a creative trend that has generated excellent examples of furniture and accessories. On closer inspection, in fact, concrete is a passpartout material: its neutral color makes it easy to combine with any context, its pasty consistency and its malleability soften its austere profile while retaining its strong character. And if furniture, lights and accessories in concrete are intuitively perfect in an industrial style context, it is with pleasant surprise that this material is expressed in an interesting way even in classic environments. Where, by contrast, it becomes the protagonist of refined interiors. Concrete is an unexpected, never banal, courageous solution. It is the expression of a desire to experiment with new and unprecedented combinations of materials and colors, but also of atmospheres. The result, entrusted to the designers, is surprising for its elegance, as shown by some of the following examples.
The intuition of Forma & Cemento is interesting: it is a company born precisely to ennoble this material. Known as poor, it becomes precious when it is entrusted to the skilled hands of the artisans who transform it into furnishings and accessories made one by one as works of art. The production takes place entirely in Italy and the catalog ranges from large furnishings to accessories, to explore the potential of this material at a wide range. The soft lines, the colors, the creative flashes generate interesting and versatile collections.
Tobi Ishi is a Japanese expression that indicates the smooth stones that are used in Zen gardens as decorative elements. And it is precisely the smooth stones that seem to compose this dining table, similar to a sculpture in which concrete is transformed and becomes precious. The asymmetrical position of the elements placed at the base mean that the whole changes according to the point of view and the result is poetic and refined.
Olo is a collection of concrete coffee tables designed by Antonio Faccio for Mogg. Each coffee table is made up of two full and soft shapes, joined to create functional, discreet but characterful sculptures. In addition to the classic gray concrete finish, the ivory color is also available, with a delicate and interesting visual texture.
The key to interpreting Jean Marie Massaud’s project for this table is the contrast between volumes. The base is imposing, full and vigorous, while the top is thin, almost disappearing. A bold balance that the designer manages to create while working with a particular material such as concrete. It makes it light, but at the same time retains its strong character.
This seat is an authentic architecture. The base is in concrete, available in its natural color or in black, the structure is in painted die-cast aluminum. The combination of materials also makes it suitable for outdoor spaces and the color options are to be explored to find the most suitable solution between rigor and surprise.
Not only furniture but also light: Lucidi and Pevere make concrete “fly” by betting on its lightness and creating a collection of minimal and extremely versatile suspended lamps. During the day they are like suspended sculptures, at night they direct the light downwards.
White concrete, dark gray concrete and light gray concrete are the shades combined by Draga & Aurel for this coffee table whose elements are superimposed as in an interlocking game. The three elements can have different proportions and therefore give life to multiple configurations.
The collection of coffee tables designed by Rodolfo Dordoni for Cassina combines the austere and rigorous appearance of the concrete top with the warm solid teak wood of the base. A collection for classy outdoor spaces with a creative twist.
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