cement homes

4 types of modern concrete homes (plus costs, pros, cons & siding options) - home stratosphere

4 types of modern concrete homes (plus costs, pros, cons & siding options) - home stratosphere

In America, modern concrete homes are becoming very, very popular. This makes a lot of sense, especially since, according to Chemistry World Magazine, concrete is the most widely-used building material in the world.

From this same 2008 issue of Chemistry World Magazine, we learned that over two-billion tons of concrete are produced every year. Keep in mind that this issue is from 2008, and that number has certainly gone up since then.

Besides the fact that cement is a very popular and very familiar building material, it is also an incredibly durable building material that can withstand noise. You can use concrete in a variety of ways, to create some very interesting homes, and due to a variety of advances in the cement industry, concrete has become a very sustainable material for the environment.

Usually, though, concrete homes are made in much the same way that regular houses are made. From the concrete that is created, it is used to follow a blueprint that is very similar to a blueprint for a regular, wood-frame house. Usually, this concrete is paired with steel reinforcements and various other materials these depend on the house itself to strengthen it, increasing its durability, while also ensuring that it is aesthetically pleasing, rather than drab and ugly.

To create the concrete blocks that are often used in building homes and big buildings, cement masons take concrete, and they cast it into what is known as a reusable mold, which is basically just a specific shape/form. This reusable mold is taken to a controlled environment and cured, which means to provide the adequate amount of moisture, along with the ideal temperature, for the concrete mold to achieve the needed effects.

From that process, it is then taken to the work site, and used. This particular process is easy and effortless, with a very small carbon footprint, which has contributed greatly to the popularity of modern concrete homes.

Concrete blocks are fairly self-explanatory. They are very popular, due to their inexpensive price, and they can be manufactured easily and quickly. Most people think of concrete blocks as being these big, solid, blocks that are usually three-by-four. Sometimes bigger. Sometimes smaller. But, the image is the same.

However, this isnt quite right. Some concrete blocks are very small, and made for a very specific aesthetic purpose. Other concrete blocks are very large, and simply designed that way for economical reasons. It depends on the home.

ICFs are foam blocks that are hollow and filled with reinforced concrete. Even when the concrete has been poured in, the foam stays in so that it can provide insulation. This particular type of concrete is generally not very pretty to look at.

As with most questions regarding budget, the answer is: that depends. But, that being said, it is quickly becoming apparent that most concrete homes are significantly cheaper than homes made of more conventional materials, such as wood.

According to a 2017 article from Curbed, written by Lauren Ro, a 1,722 square-foot home was built for only one-hundred and nine-thousand dollars. This home takes the form of a white cube, and while this aesthetic may not be pleasing, it seems the family, located in Matosinhos, is very pleased.

The specific amount of money that youll save depends on a variety of factors, including the climate of where you live, but, according to a statistic from Concrete Network, for a typical 2000 square-foot home, its estimated that youll save about 20 to 25% on heating and cooling costs.

However, that doesnt account for the savings in insurance costs. Many insurance agencies have homeowners policies that are up to 25% for modern concrete homes. This is because of their resistance to things like tornados, earthquakes, fires, and hurricanes.

Just because your house is built with concrete doesnt mean you have to have a concrete exterior resulting in a brutalist style. Just like wood-built houses, you can apply a variety of siding options. Here are some of the more common.

25 modern homes that kill it with concrete - dwell

25 modern homes that kill it with concrete - dwell

A robust building material, concrete can withstand extreme weather conditions and requires little maintenance as a non-porous substance. It boasts excellent thermal mass, which reduces energy spent on heating and cooling, takes less energy to produce compared to other materials, and boasts low CO2 emissions. Which is all to say that we're a fan of concrete homescheck out some of our favorite projects using this raw, versatile material.

The defining gesture of a house on the Big Island of Hawaii by architect Craig Steely is a 139-foot-long, four-foot-tall concrete beam spanning the roof. Owners Craig Mayer and Rick Penland relax on the lanai, or porch.

Designers Christopher Robertson and Vivi Nguyen-Robertson conceived their house as an unfolding sequence of simple geometric forms: a low concrete wall, a concrete cube, and a box clad in Siberian larch.

Gregory and Caryn Katz are dwarfed beneath the cantilevered concrete overhang, which houses the bedroom on the upper level. The stackable glass doors that run beneath allow the house to open completely to the yard and swimming pool, soften the severity of the concrete, and blur the boundary between indoors and out.

In one of the last industrial pockets of West Town, UrbanLabs Martin Felsen and Sarah Dunn created a modern live/work space that speaks to the neighborhoods history in form and function. The Dukane Precast concrete panels were acid-etched for a more finished look.

Like the other buildings onsite, John Hix designed Casa Solaris to take advantage of the natural forces here in Vieques; wind, sun and rain. By creating open spaces, where basically the fourth wall is missing, John created a space that takes advantage of the trade winds that flow through the Vieques hills. By placing the open wall towards the trade winds (to the East), the room is constantly cooled, leaving no need for air conditioning.

In relation to the materiality requirements of the clients, the architects decided that the ground floor of the house, would be resolved with visible concrete partitions towards the public space. These form a continuous plinth that is drilled according to the needs of the rooms that define and on which rests a lighter structure of metal profiles and panels with minimal openings to the streets and with external termination of wooden boards.

Smitten from the start with a 1970s concrete villa in rural Belgium, a resident and her designer embark on a sensitive renovation that excises the bad (carpeted walls, dark rooms) and highlights the good (idyllic setting, statement architecture).

Despite being set in concrete, an idyllic modular retreat is built to go with the flow. When husband and wife Tarek and Cynthia decided that their aging home on Marthas Vineyard needed to be completely replaced, they began a long search for an architect who not only would deliver a successful collaboration, but also lived on the island. It was not a small order, but serendipityand some sleuthingeventually played its role. Large, dramatic openings bring transparency and contrast to the 10-inch-thick concrete facade, framing perspectival views of the landscape.

Belgium, North of the West-Flemish village of Westouter one can find a plot in an open and rural landscape, heavily influenced by the typical agricultural activities in the area. The setting has had a great impact on the design of this single family house, which is solemnly surrounded by a few farms and a group of trees here and there. The atypical shape of the parcel, together with the not so ideal orientation of the plot have been transformed into remarkable assets for the project.

An undulating, S-shaped interior wall guides the programs within this Brutalist-inspired concrete abode. In the city of Hsinchu in northern Taiwan, Taipei-based firm Yuan Architects designed a four-level dwelling with a Brutalist-style, raw concrete shell. An S-shaped wall weaves through the interiors, carving up public and private spaces shared by three generations of a family.

In Tokyo, Japan, where the houses are crammed cheek by jowl, two old friends from architecture school have created a 793-square-foot home out of canted concrete boxes. Tamotsu Nakada neednt do much to reach his neighbors: He can simply extend his arm and touch two of their houses, each of which is a mere foot from his property line, from his small terrace. "Having more light and air was important to me," says Nakada. But when Tokyo houses are packed in like commuters during rush hour, you need a smarter brand of density.

Sitting on the edge of Puertos de Beceite national park in Aragon, Spain, is Casa Solo Pezo, the first property in the Solo Office collection of cutting-edge, architect-designed vacation rentals. Designed by the award-winning and MoMA-exhibited Chilean architects at Pezo Von Ellrichshausen, Casa Solo Pezo features a large concrete square structure that's set on top of a smaller concrete square base.

Built with specially-formulated concrete made of volcanic ash, this micro-house in Tokyo maximizes space through vertical construction. When Tokyo-based architecture firm Atelier TEKUTO received a brief from their clients to build a distinctive, environmentally-conscious concrete home, they embarked on a two-and-a-half year journey of spacial and material exploration. Built in 2015, the resultthe R Torso C projectrecently won the Overall Excellence Award and first place in the low-rise buildings category at the 2017 American Concrete Institute Awards.

The structure was inspired by "Walden", a book written by Henry David Thoreau about living a simple life in a natural environment. Inside, guests will find a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen area. A terrace with a concrete table becomes the ideal outdoor dining space. Guests can relax in the comfortable hammock, cool down in the private pool, walk through the nearby gardens, or take a swim in the ocean, which is just five minutes away from the house. The minimalist structure is made of concrete and features wooden accents that add a rustic warmth to the interior. Surrounded by vegetation and sand, the peaceful, comfortable and simple house is the perfect choice for a relaxing getaway in the middle of nature.

The Wall House in Cascais, a coastal town in an area known as the Portuguese Riviera, is an 11,840-square-foot home made with concrete, wood, and glassand boasts a pair of large swimming pools on two levels. Designed by Jos Guedes Cruz, Csar Marques, and Marco Marinho of the Portugal-based firm Guedes Cruz Architects, The Wall House is laid out in an open-box plan, and is fitted with plenty of glass windows to enhance the synergy between its interior and exterior spaces.

An Italian architecture studio offers an updated take on the vacation cabin. It's an ideal setting for a getaway: rolling hills dotted with villages and castles in Italy's Oltre Po Pavese region. A young Milanese couple wanted a small vacation home on their 3000-square-meter lot thereand 35a Studio delivered, by way of this 120-square-meter cabin decked out in textural concrete and strategically accented with wood.

As the city outgrew its original sandstone fortifications at the turn of the last century, outlying neighborhoods sprang up with suburban homes that turned their backs on the tropical surroundings.The couple bought one such house, in the Miramar neighborhood, and lived in its dark warren for seven years before contemplating a change. Built in the 1940s, when Puerto Ricans tended to eat and entertain outdoors, the home had little space for guests. The yard was big enough for entertaining, but it lacked privacy and could be reached only by walking through a roundabout of first-floor rooms.

"Simple rectangular volumes with simple details" is how designer Thomas Egidi describes the house he created for architect Carlos DellAcqua in Malibu. "I wanted to stress its horizontality," DellAcqua notes. Inside the dwelling, which is entered via a bridge that pierces the 25-foot-high main facade, the view opens up to a panorama of mountains and sea. Ipe flooring is used for the walkway and throughout the interior.

A cross-hatch covering adds a playful note to a home in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Architect Rok Oman expects the tic-tac-toe comparisons anytime he shows visitors Villa Criss-Cross, a renovated home in Mirje, a historic district in the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana. The cross-hatch pattern showcased in the building's steel-paneled facade references a pyramid built into the city's stone wall by Joe Plenik, a famed architect whose Baroque work has become an urban signature. Oman wanted to create similar sense of silent beauty out of rough material with this renovation, which juxtaposes wood, concrete, and steel to create lightness and space. "The panels are perforated, so you get a sense of transparency and can still see the sun," he says. "In this way, we wanted to make the envelope seem light, while recreating the roughness of the former plaster facade." Oman expounded on the textures and motifs of Villa Criss-Cross, which looks down the street at Plenik's famous pyramid.

Nestled in an apple grove in Sebastopol, California, the Orchard House is a rural idyll. And with the voracious design appetites of a family of gastronomically inclined clients, this concrete prefab construction is quite literally a moveable feast of a home.

most little foam concrete machine for prefabricated homes

most little foam concrete machine for prefabricated homes

Most little foam concrete machine for prefabricated homes Foam concrete is a lightweight structure, which can greatly improve the energy-saving effect and the heat preservation, heat insulation and sound insulation effect of the wall when used on the cast roof. Therefore, the quality requirement of foam concrete itself is a bit high. As a production equipment, most little foam concrete machine for prefabricated homes plays an important role in manufacturing. It is the producer of foam concrete. Without a good most little foam concrete machine for Prefabricated homes, it is difficult to achieve the function of roof insulation. Our company's most little foam concrete machine adopts advanced hydraulic control technology and has a high degree of automatic integration. It is equipped with automatic equipment integrating mountain material, foaming, stirring and mixing, discharging and conveying. The whole equipment makes water and cement into slurry in proportion, then makes water and foaming agent into fine foam by air compressor on the other side, and then mixes the slurry and foam into desired foam concrete in proportion. In order to increase the outlet pressure, the foam concrete machine for prefabricated homes uses a double-cylinder piston structure, which can effectively control the hydraulic system. And the equipment itself has full automatic control, all kinds of production costs can be adopted in proportion, and the density of foamed concrete can be adjusted. Combined with various foaming agents, the foaming effect is improved, and the cost and quality produced are reliable and stable. The operation process of most little foam concrete machine in house insulation is as follows: 1. According to the strength and density of foamed cement, design the thickness of heat insulation layer for housing construction 2. Find the elevation and elastic line, determine the thickness of foam concrete, stick it to the elevation of slurry, and then pull the wire for screed. At the same time set up templates around the construction surface. 3. Mix the slurry evenly. According to the water-cement ratio, water is added into the mixer to prepare slurry aggregate, and then the foaming agent and water are mixed to prepare foaming liquid, which is foamed with the aggregate in the mixer to produce uniform foam products. 4. High pressure port, through the pipeline high-rise pump to the housing construction site 5. The foamed cement can be poured to the floor of the house, which can be operated by sections and time sharing. In addition, pay attention to the difference between the casting thickness and the actual thickness. During construction, observe the pouring flow and pressure, and strictly control the thickness of pouring and the flatness of wall surface. It can't be too thick, resulting in excessive wall weight and excessive cost, and too small thickness will affect the effect of heat insulation. 6. Finally, use the horizontal elevation line to find the horizontal line, and then pave it according to this as a reference. The fine operation needs to be done according to the requirements of the architect. If you want to know most little foam concrete machine for prefabricated homes, please feel free to contact us,the email: [email protected]

Cast-in-place foam concrete is a new type of engineering field material developed in recent years; it has the characteristics of light weight, good fluidity, strong durability, low cost and simple construction.

The purpose or aims of grouting includes: 1. Seepage control; 2. Water plugging, 3. The consolidation; 4. To prevent landslide; 5. To reduce surface subsidence; 6. Improve the foundation bearing capacity; 7. Backfill; 8. Reinforcement.

concrete homes - design ideas, energy benefits of a concrete house - the concrete network

concrete homes - design ideas, energy benefits of a concrete house - the concrete network

Concrete homes are known for their durability and cost-saving features. In today's construction revolution, there is great demand to build high-performance homes. With ICF construction, homeowners can design a concrete home to look just like a wood-frame house, but they garner many other added benefits by choosing to build with concrete.

If you firmly believe in the adage that your home is your castle, then why not build a true fortressone that can withstand nearly any assault Mother Nature can dole out without sacrificing the comfort and design flexibility of a traditional home? In fact, many homeowners are doing just that, for reasons ranging from reducing escalating heating and cooling costs to allaying fears of being in the path of a hurricane or tornado. Use this Project Estimator from Fox Blocks to get an idea of how much it will cost to build an ICF home.

While some of these homes use traditional concrete wall systems, such as concrete masonry and concrete cast onsite in removable forms, the most explosive growth is in the use of insulating concrete forms, or ICFs, for building both foundation and above-grade walls. These easy-to-erect, stay-in-place forms are made of high-density plastic foam and filled with fresh concrete and steel reinforcement to create a super-insulated thermal sandwich that's airtight, quiet, and highly resistant to fire and strong winds.

Within these basic categories are many different ICF products, differentiated based on the structural configuration they form (such as a flat wall, post-and-beam, or grid system),how the forms attach together, how finishes attach to the wall, thickness, and insulating values.

Concrete homes look exactly like "stick built" homes. Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs) are stacked and braced-then concrete is poured inside the forms. The ICFs have nailing strips that allow the typical interior finishes and exterior treatments such as siding, stucco, stone and brick to be applied. This allows your home to assume any architectural style, from Victorian, to Colonial to ultra-contemporary, and not look like an underground basement. Because of concrete's strength and moldability, you can use ICFs to create any size or style of home imaginable. The foam forms are easy to cut and shape as desired, permitting customized architectural effects difficult to achieve with wood-frame construction, such as curved walls, large openings, long ceiling spans, custom angles and cathedral ceilings.

So what's so great about living in a concrete home? What do ICF walls offer that wood-framed walls can't, in terms of comfort, performance, affordability and safety? Here are some of the most compelling benefits, according to statistics from ICFA and PCA.

Homeowners can expect a 20 to 25 percent savings in annual heating and cooling costs versus standard stick-built homes, according to a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development report. Savings will vary depending on the number and type of windows and doors and the regional climate. The energy savings come from the outstanding insulating values for ICF walls (better thermal resistance than wood framing) and tighter construction.

Those who live in ICF homes say the absence of cold drafts and unwanted noise are the biggest pluses, even topping the energy-saving benefits. Houses built with ICF walls have more even air temperatures and are far less drafty. The barrier formed by the foam-and-concrete sandwich cuts air infiltration by as much as 75% when compared with a typical frame house. The high thermal mass of the concrete also buffers the home's interior from extreme outdoor temperatures, while the continuous layer of foam insulation minimizes temperature fluctuations inside the home by eliminating the cold spots that can occur in frame walls along the studs or at gaps in the insulation.

ICF walls are equally effective at keeping out loud noises. The greater mass of concrete walls can reduce sound penetrating through a wall by more than 80% when compared to stick-built construction. Although some sound will still penetrate the windows, a concrete home is often two-thirds quieter than a wood-frame home.

ICF walls contain no organic material, so they won't support the growth of mold, mildew and other potentially harmful microorganisms. They also reduce the infiltration of air that can bring in outside allergens. The polystyrene foam used in many ICF walls is completely nontoxic and free of formaldehyde, asbestos and fiberglass. In tests of the indoor air quality in ICF homes, no harmful emissions were detected. In areas where radon is a concern, ICF foundation walls help to minimize the leakage of radon gas into homes.

Homeowners and builders in hurricane- and tornado-prone areas are increasingly turning to concrete structural walls to stand up to fierce storms that would otherwise level a wood-frame home. Some ICF manufacturers even offer a discount to families who must rebuild homes destroyed by a devastating storm in regions officially declared federal disaster areas. Tests have shown that ICF walls can withstand flying debris from tornadoes and hurricanes with wind speeds of up to 250 mph. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) also recommends ICF construction for building tornado-resistant safe rooms.

Insurance companies recognize concrete as being safer than any other form of construction when fire threatens a home. In fact, many agencies offer discounts on homeowner's insurance policies. The plastic foams used in ICFs won't add fuel to a fire because they are treated with flame retardants to prevent them from burning. In fire-wall tests, ICF and concrete walls withstood continuous exposure to intense flames and temperatures of up to 2,000 degrees F for as long as 4 hours without structural failure, compared with wood-frame walls that collapsed in an hour or less.

Because ICF walls use non-biodegradable materials, they are not vulnerable to rot or deterioration as is untreated lumber. The reinforcing steel, which is buried in and protected by the concrete, won't rust or corrode.

Homeowners planning to build or purchase an ICF home may qualify for an Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM), which allows borrowers to qualify for a larger mortgage as a result of the savings in energy expenses. This would give the owner the ability, for example, to invest more in an ICF home because of the lower monthly heating and cooling bills. For more information, read the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development's Energy Efficient Mortgage Program.

Green building involves designing and building a home inside and out to maximize performance and conserve resources. A green home consumes less energy, water and natural resources; creates less waste; and is healthier and more comfortable for the occupantsall qualities that are easily achieved by using concrete and ICFs.

Although it's almost impossible to spot a concrete home, since the walls are often hiding beneath a traditional faade of brick, stucco or lap siding, chances are good that at least one is located right in your own neighborhood. Many of these houses are custom built, but more builders are beginning to erect entire subdivisions of concrete homes.

According to the Insulating Concrete Form Association (ICFA), ICF homes are being built all across North America, in virtually every U.S. state and Canadian province. In the Northeast, upper Midwest and Canada, ICF homes are allowing homeowners to achieve greater energy efficiency and eliminate cold drafts. Along the Eastern Seaboard and Gulf Coast, ICF homes are valued for their resistance to hurricane-force winds. In the Southwest, ICF homes keep their occupants much cooler in the summer. And on the West Coast, ICF homes provide safety from earthquakes and fires.

In Canada, the growth rate of ICF homes is exceeding even that of the U.S., spurred by government programs to encourage the construction of more energy-efficient housing. According to the Cement Association of Canada, approximately 128,000 ICF homes have been built in North America since the early 1990s, and the growth of ICF use has been steadily increasing at a rate of close to 40% annually.

ICF construction also transcends all affordability levels, from modest starter homes to luxury estates. In many communities, local ready-mix concrete associations and ICF distributors are partnering with Habitat for Humanity to donate both forms and labor to build affordable ICF homes. Fox Blocks, for example, donates its forms or offers special programs available for distributors who wish to participate in Habitat projects in their communities.

Use the Concrete Network to locate ICF suppliers in your area or search the database of the Insulating Concrete Form Association (ICFA) to find distributors and manufacturers of ICFs, experienced ICF contractors, ready-mix producers, designers, and even mortgage lenders that offer reduced interest rates for energy-efficient homes.

concrete home plans | house plans | sater design collection

concrete home plans | house plans | sater design collection

Our concrete style house plans obviously feature concrete construction, which has long been a staple in our southwest Florida home plan designs. Concrete floor plans have numerous structural and sustainable benefits including greater wind resistance and long lasting, low-maintenance living. Concrete homes of today incorporate many other techniques besides traditional masonry block construction. Methods such as ICFs, or insulated concrete forms yield greater insulative values and can help lower heating and cooling costs. Lightweight autoclaved concrete blocks are another method of construction as well as poured in place concrete walls systems. Any of these methods offer distinct and varied benefits to the user.

The Valdivia is a 3790 Sq. Ft. Spanish Colonial house plan that works great as a concrete home design and our Ferretti house plan is a charming Tuscan style courtyard home plan with 3031 sq. ft. of living space that features 4 beds and 5 baths. Be sure to check out our entire collection of house plans, all of which were designed with luxury, comfort, and aesthetic appeal in mind.

If you have found a home plan that is almost, but not exactly, what you envisioned for your dream home, we offer easy home plan customization services to modify any of our house plans to perfectly suit your familys needs. Visit our Modification Consultation page to get started. Rest assured, if you do not find what you are looking for, contact us today and we will assist you in finding the perfect house plan of your dreams.

20 gorgeous concrete houses with unexpected designs

20 gorgeous concrete houses with unexpected designs

Somehow, the idea of living in a concrete house doesnt sound that appealing and thats because of the cold nature of this material. Concrete is not warm or soft or pleasant to the touch like wood is for example and that gives it a bad reputation in a certain sense. But what we dont take into consideration in those cases is the versatility, durability and in a way also the beauty of concrete. All of these are characteristics which can be exploited in great ways by architects and designers and these dream cfoncrete houses are perfect examples.

Would a concrete house look out of place in a forest clearing or on a plot where the only neighbors are the trees and grass? Well, yes and no. Look atKoniecznys Ark, a project developed by KWK Promes in Krakow, Poland. Its a house that was shaped by the site on which it stands in the sense that given the remoteness of the site, security was an issue so the architects found a clever solution: to design the house in such a way that only one corner touches the ground while the rest of the building hands over the edge of the hill. This solution also reduced the risk of landslide as rain water flown naturally under the house. So, you see, even if this concrete box doesnt really seem to blend in at first, its actually very well adapted to its location.

The idea of living in a fortress can sound pretty awesome. Youd definitely have plenty of privacy and security but how would such a structure have to look like so it could more or less fit in a usual urban or rural setting? An answer to this question can be the house designed by Anako Architecture along the Rhone in Switzerland. The project uses concrete as a primary material and the house looks a lot like what would be a modern and stylized version of a fortress. It has an unusual form which mimics the silhouettes of the Alps visible in the distance. Walls of raw concrete define the facade and set a border between the interior spaces and the surroundings.

But not all concrete houses look like compact boxes or fortresses. This residence in Mexico City proves that a concrete home can also be open to the surroundings. This was a project byJJRR/Arquitectura. The architects made sure that the house takes full advantage of its location and in particular the views by elevating the building 1.3 meters above the ground. Full-height windows and a green roof terrace allow the house to blend in naturally and to open up the interior spaces to the views and the vast outdoors.

For a house that tries to close itself off as much as possible in respect to the street and the neighbors, this family home has surprisingly open spaces and facades. This unusual combination was achieved bymoarqs + OTTOLENGHI architects by combining two contrasting materials: concrete and glass. The design strategy was to have a more open ground floor while the first floor is closed and private. Both floors have full-height glass walls but the difference is that theres a concrete shell which wraps around the upper floor, framing the spaces and blocking the views but at the same time allowing them to be fully open to the courtyard.

This is the Jellyfish House, a residence built by Wiel Arets Architects inMlaga, Spain. Its an interesting house for several reasons. First of all, its an inspiration for other projects because of the way in which it deals with its neighbors that are blocking its view to the sea. The house was designed on four levels with a rooftop pool that cantilevers 9 meters to the South-West. It was designed this way so that views of the sea can be admired while relaxing on the terrace or swimming in the pool which, by the way, has a glass bottom.

Youd think that a concrete house wouldnt have much in common with nature but youd be wrong. Just look at this gorgeous retreat in South Korea. The U Retreat was designed by IDMM architects on a steep site overlooking a sharp vertical cliff and nature and the surroundings had a lot to do with its unique design. The forms of the cliff and the trees that surround the building were inspiration for the forms and layouts that define the concrete structure.

Concrete and greenery are actually a pretty great combo and what better way to show you this than with a project called House for Trees? Its a series byVo Trong Nghia Architects developed in Ho Chi Minh City. The main idea behind the project was to reconnect the city and nature and to bring more greenery into the residential area. This is the Binh House, one of the structures in the series. It has several terraces that act as small gardens and you can also see that vegetation has also made its way inside the house.

Making a house look natural in its setting, as if it organically grew on the plot is no easy task yet architect Tatiana Bilbao did a great job when designing this family home in Mexico City. The project is actually a collection of five-sided concrete blocks that seem to naturally emerge from the hillside. They offer panoramic views towards Monterrey as each block is strategically oriented to capture and frame different parts of the landscape.

When dealing with a lot of concrete, its often nice to balance out its coldness with some warm wood elements. Its what studio Clauwers & Simon did when designing this residence in Belgium. The building is organized around a courtyard and its design is a tribute to Belgian architect Juliann Lampens who is known for the extensive use of concrete both inside and out the buildings designed back in the 1960s. The impact of the concrete in this particular case is softened by the timber and the views of the large garden.

Sometimes we want our homes to blend in and to coordinate with its neighbors but other times its nice to stand out. This three-story family home inPliezhausen, close to Stuttgart, is one of those cases. The house was designed bySteimle Architektenwho gave it an unusual crystal-like shape. The unusually angled concrete facades offer an unexpected advantage: wonderful views of the surroundings. Its a design that opens the house to the outdoors in an unusual but great way.

This house from Brissago, Switzerland looks incredibly simple, like a concrete monolith with cut out windows from place to place. It looks as if its been on that slope all along and only recently carved into a home. Its a great look managed by Wespi de Meuron Romeo Architects. Because it sits on a steep slope, the houses has the entrance on the top floor and the parking lot up on the roof level. Its raw concrete facades are minimalist and intriguing and the interior matches this look.

The geometry of the City Villa is a very interesting one, being the defining feature of the design ARRCC created specifically for this project. This is a modern family home located in South Africa. Its design is a collection of rectangular volumes placed on top of each other. Some of these volumes cantilever to the sides, forming terraces. A stone wall contrasts with the concrete, adding texture and diversity to the design. Other contrasting elements include the brass front door which was custom designed and all the glass surfaces.

This forest house is located in Mar Azul, Argentina. It was built by BAK Architects on a site full of challenges. The owners wanted it to be away from the sea and the populated areas so it can serve as a private, intimate and remote refuge. At the same time, they wanted to be in contact with nature and the landscape. To these requests the architects responded with a single level design for a structure that has a concrete shell and vast openings. It sits on a flat section of the site and it offers uninterrupted views of the surrounding landscape.

This is a dune house located near Buenos Aires. It was built by Luciano Kruk Arquitectos and its a concrete structure designed to be enjoyed during summer. The site on which it stand has an uneven surface, sloping towards a pine forest. The house follows the natural topography of the land and becomes partially embedded into the slope. This helps it better communicate and blend in with its surroundings and the sand dune which it traverses.

We conclude our list with a gorgeous concrete and wood house located in Southern France. Its a project by Pascual Architecte who designed it with large glass doors that open up the living spaces to the garden and also with a large circular skylight carved out into the terrace roof. The skylight is an unexpected and unusual detail. It opens the outdoor spaces to views of the sky and it also brings more light into the kitchen, which is welcomed especially in winter. Whats especially beautiful about this house is the dialogue between the concrete and the wood, two materials that complement each other in a really great way.

Located in Brazil, this beautiful house has an interesting design which was modeled not after its surroundings but after another house that was used as a filming location for a sci-fi movie. Studio Costaveras Arquitetos used that as a reference to come up with their own original design based on that. They thus created this amazing two-story concrete house with an organic connection to the outdoors and a spacious, bright and inviting interior. It has its own home theater and a beautiful balcony that frames a great view of the surroundings.

The inspiration for this concrete house in Spain was the actual site itself which overlooks a golf course. It was up to studio eneseis Arquitectura to come up with a design that makes the most of this view and also overcomes the challenges presented by the location. The site is uneven and has neighboring plots on all sides except for the one facing the golf course. As such, this became the focal point of the entire construction. The house was built with a U-shaped layout which allows it to maintain the privacy from the neighboring structure but also to remain open towards this view. Furthermore, the palette of materials used throughout the project is very simple which puts even more emphasis on the landscape and the scenery.

After choosing a beautiful site in San Pancho, San Francisco as a location for the new home, the owners of this beautiful house worked with RVO Studio to turn their vision into reality. They wanted a big and spacious house that would feel like a holiday home but also be really comfortable for long-term use. The architects came up with a beautiful design for a three-level structure organized into two main areas, one for the owners everyday activities and another for their guests. They used concrete as well as bricks to give the exterior of the house an interesting and welcoming appearance.

This is the CL76 House, a modern and beautiful lakeside residence located in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Its the result of a collaboration between studios El Aleph Arquitectura and Fritz + Fritz Arquitectos who worked together to come up with a design that complements and surroundings as well as suit their clients style and requirements. The house has a very simple look from the outside, looking almost unfinished due to the exposed concrete surfaces. Large full-height windows open it towards the view of the lake and help to blend the indoor and outdoor seamlessly and naturally. The ground floor has easy access to the garden, the pool and the terrace that frames it.

A great view should always be taken advantage of and few projects do that as good as the Razor House does. This stunning-looking house made of concrete and glass sits on the edge of a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean in La Jolla, California. It was built here in 2007 and was designed by architect Wallace E. Cunningham. It has very sleek and sharp lines and the entire side facing the ocean is made of glass becoming a huge panorama window that takes full advantage of the breathtaking view. The interior is spacious, modern and inviting, featuring a two-story living area at the center with a curved staircase leading up to a lounge.

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